The weirdest UK laws you may have broken without realising

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While the majority of us like to believe we are law-abiding individuals and do our best to live within the rules of the realm, this is actually often not the case.

For example, have you ever attended a fancy dress party as a police officer or been drunk in a pub?

Perhaps you and your friends played “Knock Knock Run” as a child? If the answer to any of those is “yes,” you may have broken the law.

They may be seemingly minor transgressions, but actions like these can sometimes see you on the wrong side of the law, and in serious trouble.

The UK still has a wide range of old laws in place today, despite calls to have them repealed or abolished, and some of them are truly bizarre.

Here are some of the weirdest laws you may have broken, without realising.

Being drunk in a pub

While many of us are guilty of having one too many at our local, it is actually an offence to be drunk in a pub.

Section 12 of the Licensing Act 1872 states: “Every person found drunk… on any licenced premises shall be liable to a penalty.”

So, in theory, you could face a £200 fine if you are found intoxicated in a pub or another public place.

Selling alcohol to a drunk person

It is an offence to sell alcohol to a person who is drunk or disorderly.

Under the Licensing Act 2003, a person who sells alcohol to someone who is drunk can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £90 by the police, which can increase to £1,000 if it goes to court.

The commercial property could also face a fine and risk losing its alcohol licence if its staff serve customers who are intoxicated.

Lingering after a funeral

One of the harshest and saddest UK laws states that you are not allowed to linger after a funeral.

In 2015, a man stayed an extra 20 minutes at his wife’s funeral and was charged £160 just so gravediggers could continue with their work.

Dressing up as a police officer or soldier

Dressing up as a police officer or a soldier is breaking the law—even if it is a fancy dress party or Halloween.

Under the Seamen’s and Soldiers’ False Characters Act 1906 and the Police Act 1996, it is illegal to impersonate a police officer or member of the armed forces.

If you are caught, it could land you with a custodial sentence.

Playing “Knock Knock Run”

Knock Knock Run was a popular children’s game that dates back to the 19th century.

It involves knocking on someone’s front door and then running away before they answer.

The game might seem like a harmless prank, but playing it is breaking the law.

In 1839, it was made illegal to “wilfully and wantonly disturb any inhabitant by pulling or ringing any doorbell or knocking at any door without lawful excuse.”

Sounding your horn aggressively

In the UK, it is illegal to sound your car horn “aggressively”, even if another driver acts dangerously.

You must have a “viable and reasonable intention” when you use your horn.

You could end up with a £1,000 fine if you sound your horn because you are annoyed or frustrated.

It is also an offence to sound your horn when your car is stationary or while in a built-up area between the hours of 11.30pm and 7am.

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