Guys, this went viral last year and the ordinance has since been updated to remove the possibility of jail time for teens older than 12 caught trick-or-treating:
Sooooooooooooooooo lemme get this straight, a group of municipal law makers affirmatively banded together in agreement over the decision to jail 13 year olds up to 6 mos for over-age trick-or-treating? K pic.twitter.com/dQnxRxlKnG
— julie warren (@JulesAWarren) October 21, 2019
From USA Today:
No, it wasn’t a story on The Onion. It was real.
The city of Chesapeake drew national scrutiny – and social media uproar – for its decades-old ordinance that could fine or jail teens caught in costume with a sack full of candy.
It got so much attention, in fact, the city quickly conducted a review of the ordinance and made changes, the city’s director of public communications Health Covey told USA TODAY.
The new code raised the age to trick-o-treating to 14. From the City of Chesapeake:
- If you are giving out treats, turn on your porch/exterior lights.
- Remove any objects in your yard that might be a hazard.
- Drive slowly during the evening and watch for children.
- Make sure your child can navigate safely. Long costumes and masks can make navigating streets and yards difficult.
- The hours for trick or treating are 6-8 p.m.
- Trick or treating is open to children up to 14 years old.
The city also says nobody was ever sent to jail for trick-or-treating:
Chesapeake Police staff will focus on making sure the evening is safe for everyone, not actively seeking out violations of the time or age limits. For example, a 15 year old safely trick or treating with a younger sibling is not going to have any issues. That same child taking pumpkins from porches and smashing them in the street more likely will. The City’s trick-or-treat ordinance was updated in 2019 when City Council voted to remove the (never before used) penalty of jail time and to raise the age limit to 14, making it one of the least restrictive ordinances in all of Hampton Roads.
If this is the “least restrictive” ordinance in the area, how crazy are the ones in the other cities?