Waistline law tough to enforce

Published 12:07am Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, let’s get ready to play the waistline limbo game!

The question is: How low can you go and not get slapped with a fine?

The game is about to start in the city limits of Vidalia after aldermen unanimously adopted a resolution Tuesday to modify the city’s indecent exposure law to ban saggy pants.

If you’ve been out of your house since Bill Clinton was in the White House, you’ve almost certainly seen this baffling phenomenon — people wearing pants so loose and low that their underwear is visible to any and all passersby.

What’s fashionable to some people is disgusting and immoral to others. But how can a government define morality?

While we applaud the city’s motives, we question how the law will be applied in practice.

Will police now have a tape measure attached to their duty belts?

Is a sliver of underwear acceptable, or does it require a substantial amount showing before the heavy hand of the law kicks into gear?

If police take a zero-tolerance policy, many residents need to take precaution and carefully tuck in their shirts.

Does the proverbial plumber who is bent over working under a sink need to prepare to be slapped with a $150 fine because his backside is showing?

It’s likely the law simply will sit on the books with virtually no enforcement, given the difficulty in really determining what’s fashion — or simply a forgotten belt — and what’s indecent.

But for now. just having a law on the books probably suffices to placate the people who are upset by the sight of underwear in public.

If law enforcement officers have to become waistline limbo officers at some point in the future, we expect the courts can figure out if the new rules are fair or not.