Better pull ‘em upPublished 11:24pm Tuesday, December 14, 2010
If your pants drag the ground and you show skin or underwear, you’ll likely get a ticket in the future.
The Selma City Council voted Tuesday by a five-to-two margin to approve an ordinance banning sagging pants in the city, making an offense punishable by fine.
Fourth Judicial District Attorney Michael Jackson made an appearance during the meeting, telling council members he believes a law on the books would make people feel freer to tell young people to pull up their pants.
Jackson said he recently attended a job fair at Wallace Community College and asked students how they expected to get a job with their pants dragging the ground.
The ordinance passed by the council is similar to one used by Demopolis and several other Alabama cities. Some council members raised issues of enforcement.
“The ordinance’s enforcement will require common sense,” Jackson said. “If you walk around and see underwear and skin, the pants are too low.”
Councilman Samuel Randolph of Ward 5 was most vocal against the ordinance.
“I thing the ordinance is close to racial profiling, geared toward minority kids,” he said.
The ordinance says pants worn by any person, regardless of age, in public should not fall more than three inches below the hips.
If a juvenile violates the law, the parent or legal guardian will be cited and subject to a fine of a minimum of $25 and a maximum of $100 for each offense. The court cost will be waived, but the court may also order 10-to-20 hours of community service.
If an adult is in violation of the ordinance, that person should receive a citation and could face a minimum fine of $25 and a maximum fine of $200 for each offense. The court costs will be waived, but the court could order the person found guilty to 10-to-40 hours of community service.
The ordinance specifies that a citation for violating the sagging pants ordinance is not a criminal offense to there’s no arrest or imprisonment for violators.