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Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 10:28am

Dublin Bans Saggy Pants

It’s now against the law to wear saggy pants in Dublin.

The mayor of the middle Georgia city signed an ordinance Tuesday after several years of complaints from city residents.

The ordinance bans the wearing of pants or skirts “more than 3 inches below the top of the hips, exposing skin or undergarments.” Violators could be fined up to $200.

Bill Hoyt is a Dublin resident and works at a men’s clothing store in town. He says the law walks a fine line with freedom of expression. But baggy clothes cross it.

“You don’t need to expose undergarments and other things that are not of the norm. And I think when you wear your clothing and your pants are about to fall off, you’re getting outside of the norm.”

City officials say it’s become an image problem for Dublin, and the seven-member city council was unanimous in its passage of the ordinance last week.

Gary Johnson, a 19-year member of the council, says he’s aware of some court challenges to similar ordinances elsewhere -- like a Florida community where it was ruled unconstitutional last year. But he says Dublin had to try something.

“It’s not something that we’re just going to go out looking for people. We’re going to give them warnings, try to encourage them to pull the pants up. We’re not just going out trying to stop people.”

Johnson, an African-American member of the city council, says the ban is not racial profiling. He says the problem is with people across the board.