How Low Can Pants Go?

Fashion statement? Annoying? Disgusting? “Criminal” may join the words that can describe pants bagging south of the waistline, if a state bill sponsored by Rep. Joe Towns Jr. (D-Memphis) in the House and Sen. Ophelia Ford (D-Memphis) in the Senate passes. The bill would make it a Class C misdemeanor “punishable by fine and community service only to knowingly wear pants below waistline to show underwear or buttocks.” A fiscal note on the legislation anticipates it increasing state revenue in excess of $100,000, with proceeds earmarked for equipment for school activities. Here’s how the money part would work:

Fines in dollars and community service (may not be suspended or waived):

  • $200/40 hours First offense
  • $500/80 hours Second offense
  • $750/120 hours Third offense
  • $1,000/160 hours Fourth or subsequent offense.

How fines collected would be distributed to local education agencies:

  • 50% Musical instruments for band
  • 25% Books
  • 25% Sports equipment for school-sponsored athletics

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