© Reuters/Lucas JacksonA suspected pants sagger concealing his waistline.
Ocala - A city council has voted unanimously to impose a public dress code, enforceable by the police, and punishable by fines and up to 6 months in jail.
The 4-0 vote on July 15th officially created a new crime in the City of Ocala: wearing saggy pants. Councilwoman Mary Rich introduced it, as she did once before in 2009.
Individuals whose pants sag two (2) inches below the natural waistline may now be issued a 2nd Degree Misdemeanor. The punishment is fines of up to $500.00 or the possibility of jail time up to 180 days.
Officials lauded the new policy, citing it as "the right thing to do" and an improvement on "public decency." Others questioned how it could be enforced and what kind of confrontations it might create between police and citizens.
The dress code can be enforced on any property that is owned or leased by the city. That includes streets, sidewalks, parking lots, parks, sports & recreation facilities, swimming pools, municipal buildings, the downtown square, and public transportation.
City Attorney Patrick Gilligan could not definitively say how the law applies to bathing suits. "If that becomes a problem, we will start dealing with that," said Gilligan
. "Right now, it's pants on men or women."