You’ve probably seen the videos of people licking ice cream in stores and placing it back on the shelf. Now, a Decatur lawmaker wants harsher penalties if the trend catches on in Alabama.
Videos posted on social media show people in stores taking tubs of ice cream, licking them and then putting them back in the freezers.
Shoppers WAAY 31 spoke with said they’d like to see people who do these kinds of things be held accountable for their actions.
“Silly, stupid, childish,” said a shopper, Shirley Davis. “I just can’t understand why these kids and adults are out licking ice cream. They need to be working.”
That’s how Davis describes the videos she’s watched on social media of people tampering with food inside grocery stores and then placing it back where they got it.
She says the foolish acts could even hurt businesses.
“There’s always a chance that you may get one. Would you want to eat it if someone else licked it or spit in it?” said Davis.
The ice cream licking videos have gotten a lot of folks’ attention, including Alabama Senator Arthur Orr’s.
“You hate to bring a bill for senseless acts like this, and to put it in the code, but these are the days in which we live,” he said.
Right now, if someone licks, spits or tampers with food they know will be offered for sale to the public, they could be charged with criminal mischief and face a fine of up to $2,500.
Senator Orr says he wants harsher consequences, so he’s working on legislation for the next session that would make it a Class A misdemeanor or Class C felony. That could mean possible jail time and a fine of up to $6,000.
“Go after those that want to do activities like this and potentially bring harm to people if they have sickness or diseases,” said Orr.
Orr says the bill is modeled after one already in place in Texas. He thinks it would prevent others from doing what’s already been done too much.
"Somebody gets some real jail time for a silly stunt that they thought was funny that the rest of the public doesn’t think is very funny at all,” he said.
Shirley Davis says she’s a fan of the bill.
“I just think it’s a good idea to stop them from doing it because of health reasons, and keep other people from following their examples and doing something so stupid,” she said.
Senator Orr says he'll introduce his legislation in the first regular session of 2020, the first week of February.
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