Anti-spitting law has to go, commissioner says - FOX 13 News

Anti-spitting law has to go, commissioner says

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Baseball players do it, and no one thinks twice. But spit in public in Lakeland, and you might just get arrested. That's because it's illegal.

It is a law that's been on the books for almost 70 years, but possibly not for much longer.

Commissioner Don Selvage says the ordinance is outdated and should go.

"I think it is bad behavior, bad manners, even disgusting behavior. But in today's society, we are bombarded by offensive behavior. I just don't think it rises to illegality," he told FOX 13 on Friday.

Fellow commissioner Eddie Yates wants to keep the anti-spitting rule, and compares it to one that makes littering illegal.

"There are certain behaviors that impact public property," Yates said.

"In this particular case, spitting, especially with tobacco products in your mouth, can be detrimental to parks, park equipment, and sidewalks," she continued.

Lakeland's law hasn't been used very often. Since the year 2000, only seventeen people have been arrested for spitting in public. In the most recent case, the charge was dropped.

The public will get a chance to voice their opinion at an upcoming meeting about whether they think the anti-spitting ordinance should stay or go. There's no date set for that yet.

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