A new bill, SB 635 “An Act to Increase the Fines for Littering Offences” by Senator Rouzer (R- Johnston, Wayne) proposes drastic increases in fines paid for littering on public property, intentionally or not.
As it currently stands, the fee for a first littering offence is $250 to $1,000, with the option of an additional eight to twenty four hours of community service. Senator Rouzer’s bill would increase that fine to a whopping $1,000 to $4,000 (a 400% increase).
Repeat offences would be increased to anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000, with the optional sentence of sixteen to fifty hours of community service.
Intentional littering is a terrible mishandling of this state’s natural resources and beauty, and reflects an attitude of disrespect for others. Those who intentionally do so risk getting caught and fined, and should be judged accordingly.
That having been said, those napkins in the back seat of our cars sure do have a nasty tendency to try to blow out with the wind. Should an officer of the law witness it, that 99¢ burger could turn into the most costly meal of your life. So make sure to police your trash, and ensure you don’t end up paying a fortune for an honest mistake.