Back when I was a teenager in high school, they were all around me, everywhere I looked. Boys (and sometimes, even men) wearing jeans that almost seemed to defy gravity, but were held in place just below their buttocks with a tight belt. You could say boxer shorts were a common sight for me in school and in public back then, and, if we’re being honest, still sometimes today.
But for South Carolina residents, seeing guys wearing those saggy, seemingly impossible to walk in pants may become a thing of the past if this new bill becomes law.
On February 15, House Bill 4957 was proposed in the South Carolina Legislature. The bill would penalize people who “appear in public wearing pants more than three inches below the crest of his [ilium],” or the bone forming the upper part of each half of the pelvis.
Violators can expect to be charged fines or forced to do community service. For their first offense, they may be charged a civil fine of up to $25. For the second, they may be fined up to $50 and required to complete up to three hours of community service, or both. Further offenses will result in a fine up to $75 and up to six hours of community service, or both as well.
The bill is currently being referred to the Judiciary Committee. The violation will not be a criminal or delinquent offense, however; rather, such cases would be dealt with in municipal or magistrate court.
You can read the complete bill below:
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 16-17-780 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR A PERSON TO WEAR PANTS SAGGING MORE THAN THREE INCHES BELOW HIS ILEUM, TO PROVIDE FOR PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS, TO PROVIDE THAT A VIOLATION IS NOT GROUNDS FOR DENYING, SUSPENDING, OR REVOKING THE VIOLATOR’S PARTICIPATION IN A STATE COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM, AND TO PROVIDE JURISDICTION OF A VIOLATION IS VESTED EXCLUSIVELY IN THE MUNICIPAL COURT OR THE MAGISTRATES COURT.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 7, Chapter 17, Title 16 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
(A) It is unlawful for a person to appear in public wearing his pants more than three inches below the crest of his ileum exposing his skin or undergarments.
(B) A person who violates the provisions of this section commits a noncriminal offense and is subject to a civil fine of up to twenty-five dollars for a first offense, a civil fine of fifty dollars or not more than three hours of community service, or both, for a second offense, and a civil fine of seventy-five dollars or not more than six hours of community service, or both, for a third or subsequent offense. Civil fines imposed pursuant to this section are subject to all applicable court costs, assessments, and surcharges.
(C) A violation of this section is not a criminal or delinquent offense and no criminal or delinquent record may be maintained.
(D) A violation of this section is not grounds for denying, suspending, or revoking a person’s participation in a state college or university financial assistance program including, but not limited to, a Life Scholarship, Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, HOPE Scholarship, or a needs-based grant.
(E) Jurisdiction to hear a violation of this section is vested exclusively in the municipal court or the magistrates court, as appropriate. A hearing pursuant to this section must be placed on the court’s appropriate docket for traffic violations and not on the court’s docket for civil matters.”
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
To be honest, if I was living in South Carolina, I can’t say I’d miss seeing those oh so saggy pants. That said, the sight doesn’t bother me all that much, and I certainly wouldn’t lose any sleep over the bill not passing.