MOUNT VERNON — An obscure Ohio law, enacted in 1953, states that no person shall be arrested on the Fourth of July. The law also states that no one shall be arrested on a Sunday, or on their way to or from their designated place of worship. Although the Ohio Senate introduced a bill to repeal this law in 1998, it failed to pass and the law remains in effect to this day.
According to the Ohio Revised Code section 2331.13, there are some exceptions to the rule. Treason, the commission of a felony, or breach of the peace still constitute grounds for arrest on these days.
Though there is no legal definition for breach of the peace in Ohio law, some government officials have compared this directly to the definition of disorderly conduct.
Section 2917.11 of the Ohio code defines disorderly conduct as recklessly causing the inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to another person by doing any of the following: Fighting, threatening, unreasonable noises or gestures, insulting, taunting, and a variety of other things a citizen is not allowed to do while intoxicated, first of which is drive a car.
Section 2331.13 of this 1953 law further states that whoever arrests a person in violation of the Sunday, Fourth of July, or church provisions shall pay the person arrested $100, to be recovered by civil action.