Well, Shoot. This Virginia County Just Outlawed Swearing
Arlington, the last bastion of free speech in the once great state of Virginia, has fallen in line with the rest of the state and jacked up its fine for the use of profanity in public.
If you find yourself in Arlington and intend on using some of the more colorful language in your vocabulary, just know it will now cost you $250.
Officials in the county voted to change its code at a Saturday board meeting after they say punishments weren’t severe enough to keep foul-mouthed and inebriated people off the streets in 2014.
They say police in the county made 664 arrests for people who appeared to be drunk or used profanity while in public in 2014, though they didn’t specify how many were drunk and how many were using naughty language.
Prior to the change, those caught swearing in Arlington got a fine of $100, and it was the only place in Virginia with a fine below $250, which is what’s recommended by the state.
The new law change also redefined the word “drunkenness” to “intoxicated,” to allow police to arrest not just drunk people, but people to appear to be feeling the effects of other drugs.
According to the memo accompanying the new legislation, “there were instances where individuals were under the influence of other intoxicants; however, enforcement was not possible under [the old law].”
It won’t take much for Arlingtonians to skirt the new law, though, as the Washingtonian noted, profanity is more than welcome in the District of Columbia. Just as long as it isn’t intended to provoke a violent response from another person.
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