You may find saggy pants to be a sartorial offense, but should they be a real crime? In at least one Florida jurisdiction, a new ordinance will allow for official redress of lower waistlines, local news sources report.
The saggy pants ban in Ocala isn't just an idle threat. In fact, some very real consequences are faced by potential offenders whose trousers droop below the statutorily mandated two inch line of sag, and fines and jail time could result for angering the fashion police.
According to MyFoxTampaBay, individual offenses could be subject to a range of sentences based on discretion, which we imagine won't be abused in any sort of way by police or judges:
"The police chief told city council his goal is not to arrest people, they just need to comply with the new ordinance... According to the ordinance, it is up to the police discretion on how they want to enforce it. But worst case scenario: a person sagging their pants may be fine up to $500 and spend up to 6 months in jail. The offense would be a second-degree misdemeanor."
One local who reportedly doesn't disagree with the new saggy pants ban in Ocala is David Steffey, a local middle school teacher. Steffey told the site that saggy pants definitely plague his classrooms, and he comments:
"It is an issue in some of my classes with some of my students... I always tell my students at school I don't need to see what is underneath your pants. I always remind them they don't want to see what's underneath my pants and so having said that I think it's fair. I've had a couple of students pants zip tied to keep them up."
The saggy pants ban in Ocala has been on some local officials' to-do lists for some time, but has been previously shelved due to concerns over potential profiling. A local paper reports:
"This is the second time Councilwoman Mary Rich requested the ordinance. In 2009, the ordinance died when none of the other council members would second the motion. Rich told Mayor Kent Guinn on Tuesday that one of his objections in 2009 was that it could lead to profiling but she said it would not be profiling because kids of both genders and all races offend."
Police who spot a saggy pants offender do have the option of issuing a warning, and may snap a photo of the person wearing allegedly sagging pants to show to a judge should the matter come before one.