4 Confusing UK Laws That Teens Need to Understand

Most countries have their own collection of strange laws and the UK is no exception.

Some laws are outdated, while others are bizarre or just plain wrong. While many laws have been repealed throughout the years, there are still some laws out there that make us shake our heads in disbelief.

If you want to learn more about some of the UK’s most confusing laws, keep reading. Don’t forget: failure to follow any of these laws could potentially land you with a fine or jail time, so make sure you have a good handle on them even if they sound too silly to be true.

1. Knocking on someone’s door and running away could get you arrested 

Fancy a round of “Knock, Knock Ginger”? You might want to reconsider. Knocking on someone’s door or ringing their doorbell to cause a disturbance is a little-known law that falls under the 1847 Town Police Clauses Act.

This game might be popular amongst teenagers and aspiring pranksters, but it could land you with trespassing or disturbing the peace charges if successfully prosecuted. 

2. CBD is legal to use in the UK (even if you’re under 18!)  

The legality of CBD in the United Kingdom is often confused with cannabis, which is a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Unlike marijuana, CBD doesn’t contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient responsible for making you feel “high” and that is why CBD is often recommended as a treatment for conditions like epilepsy, pain, depression, and anxiety.

You will need to be 18 years or older to purchase CBD products for yourself, but there isn’t a law prohibiting minors from using it.

3. It’s against UK law to be drunk while at the pub 

You probably already know that you need to be 18 years or older to purchase alcohol in the UK, but did you know about this strange law? According to the 1872 Licensing Act it is illegal to appear intoxicated in any public space, including establishments that serve alcohol. Failure to follow this law could land you with a hefty fine, up to £200. 

4. Shaking rugs and carpets outside is prohibited in London 

This bizarre law has existed in London since 1839 when in was included in the Metropolitan Police Act 1839. There is one exception to this law though, you may shake the dirt out of your doormat until 8 am. Luckily, technology has advanced significantly, and we can do a quick hoover to remove dirt and dust without breaking any obscure laws.

It’s very unlikely that anyone will get in trouble for breaking any of these laws. Usually, they’re only still here because nobody has bothered to take the resources to fight to change them – there are more pressing issues at hand than trying to legalize shaking off rugs. Before vacuums, it was probably a real problem, but often these old and outdated laws get left behind instead of being updated. It’s not easy to change a law!

If you could change any law in the UK, which one would it be?

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