The city of Albany, Georgia has collected almost $4,000 in fines since an ordinance banning saggy pants went into effect less than nine months ago, The Albany Herald reports.
The ordinance bans pants or skirts that sit more than three inches below the top of the hips, exposing skin or underwear. According to the Herald, City Attorney Nathan Davis recently said that the Municipal Court "advises that 187 citations have been issued and fines collected of $3,916.49,” since the ordinance went into effect on November 23.
First time offenders pay a fine of $20. Subsequent violations can result in fines of up to $200. From the Herald:
Considering that the Albany Police Department is averaging more than 20 citations a month for the indecent exposure saggy pants ordinance, it is possible the rest of the year could add another $1,500 to the city’s general fund pot.
Violators cannot be imprisoned, and the ordinance allows 40 hours of community service to be completed in lieu of a fine.
In 2007, USA Today reported that a number of U.S. cities were battling the scourge of saggy pants. At the time, bans had become law or were being considered in eight states.
The movement is fueled by growing worries among lawmakers that sloppy dress by America's youth could be related, no matter how indirectly, to delinquency, poor learning and crime.
"If we have kids going around wearing pants below their butts, it's not nice, not decent," says Timothy Holmes, a city commissioner in Opa-locka, Fla. "If you ask six of these kids, 'What are your grades?' four will tell you they're making C's, D's and F's. I see how senior citizens respond to these kids. They're afraid."
In late August, Reuters reported that Florida had become the second state after Arkansas to enact a statewide law addressing the issue, by banning saggy pants at schools.
...the current law... subjects repeat violators to up to three days of in-school suspension and up to 30 days suspension from extracurricular activities. It also targets low-cut and midriff-exposing shirts on girls.
Democratic State Senator Gary Siplin of Orlando, one of the backers of the so-called Pull Your Pants Up law, welcomed students back to school this year by handing out 200 leather belts.