Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Weird Laws You Didn't Know You Needed.


Lawyers maybe have a different sense of what's fun or funny or interesting, so bear with me. One of the things I enjoy about my job (aside from helping people right wrongs and get money for doing so) is coming across comments I think are funny from judges (like the Interesting Judicial Comments you'll find on here from time to time), and also weird laws, laws that make me think Now, what's that all about?

Take the prohibition, in Wisconsin, on chauffers getting bribes. In Wisconsin, it is illegal for your chauffeur to take payola related to the car they drive -- and for anyone to offer such a bribe. In other words, in Wisconsin, chauffeurs can't get a little under the table in exchange for having The Boss' car get its muffler at a specific shop.

That's a law that's been on the books only since 1993 -- so presumably it was anything goes for chauffeurs up until the early 90s, when Wisconsin (thankfully?) cracked down on what had to be a horrible problem. And I do mean cracked down -- the fine for breaking that law? $25.

Here's the actual law:

134.06 Bonus to chauffeurs for purchases, forbidden. It shall be unlawful for any chauffeur, driver or other person having the care of a motor vehicle for the owner to receive or take directly or indirectly without the written consent of such owner any bonus, discount or other consideration for supplies, or parts furnished or purchased for such motor vehicle or upon any work or labor done thereon by others or on the purchase of any motor vehicle for the chauffeur's, driver's or other person's employer and no person furnishing such supplies or parts, work or labor or selling any motor vehicle shall give or offer any such chauffeur or other person having the care of a motor vehicle for the owner thereof, directly or indirectly without such owner's written consent, any bonus, discount or other consideration thereon. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished by a fine not exceeding $25.

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