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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Louisiana town bans saggy pants from its streets; top fine $500

PORT ALLEN, La. - With a councilman saying underwear "is called underwear for a reason," another Cajun-country town has banned saggy pants from its streets.

The ordinance, passed unanimously Monday by the Port Allen City Council, requires pants to be secured at the waist so they do not fall below the hips, expose underwear or create indecent exposure.

Violators could be fined $25 to $250 for a first offence, and $250 to $500 for repeat offences.

Council member Ray Helen Lawrence said she voted for the ordinance only because she got numerous calls from constituents who consider the look a fashion faux pas. Many said they associate droopy outerwear with crime, she added.

Council member Hugh Riviere said he didn't want to view other people's undergarments, saying it "is called underwear for a reason."

Stephanie DeLaney, one of two women asking the council to reject the proposal, said lightheartedly that she has lost weight, so she sometimes wears baggy pants.

"I'd hate for someone to call the cops on me for that," she said.

Seven other Louisiana communities have passed similar droopy drawers ordinances: Eunice, Shreveport, Alexandria, Delcambre, Mansfield, Lafourche and Pointe Coupee parishes. Two others - Lake Charles and the St. Mary Parish town of Baldwin - are considering them.

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