Sagging pants law proposed in South Carolina

Two youths wear their pants with the underwear showing on April 23, 2009 in Riviera Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A proposed state law in South Carolina aims to use fines and community service to punish people with sagging pants.

WCIV reported the bill would make it unlawful for a person to appear in public wearing "his" pants sagging more than three inches below the "crest of his ileum" (the top of his hips), thus exposing skin or undergarments.

The proposal said violations would be a "noncriminal offense." 

For the first offense, a person could be given a fine of up to $25. On the second offense, the fine would be up to three hours of community service and a $50 fine, or both. On the third offense and any thereafter, the fine would be $75, six hours of community service, or both.

South Carolina State Rep. Wendell Gilliard (D-Charleston) co-sponsored House Bill 4957, which was introduced Feb. 15.

WCIV reported Gilliard said he first sponsored an ordinance while in city council to get young men to “wear their pants properly."

Ten years ago, he said, people thought he was “crazy” to do such a thing. According to Gilliard, the situation is getting worse than it was 10 years ago.

“The pants now are being worn below the knees," Gilliard said.

Another reason Gilliard said he is a co-sponsor of the bill is because he wants men to be treated the same as women. He noted that if women were to wear their pants that low, that would be considered indecent exposure. 

Gilliard said he has seen all “creeds and races” with sagging pants and believes that what impacts one race impacts all races.

For more on this story, go to WCIV.

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