Don’t Mess With Texas: Litterbugs Now Face Penalties

A new state law is in effect aimed at stopping people from littering and the solution may lie in putting offenders to work.

According to House Bill 1884, litter bugs could face up to 60 hours of community service and hefty fines for dropping trash.

It's something local business owners told NBC 5 that they welcome.

Business is booming at Brain Dead Brewing in Deep Ellum and co-owner Jeff Fryman says he takes great pride in making sure his customers are comfortable.

"Even if it means going out and sweeping to show the people that I work with you've got to play your little part," Fryman said of cleaning dirty sidewalks.

From the beer bottles, to the fast food containers, even the cigarette butts thrown out, Fryman makes sure to keep the area clean

"If I'm walking past the place, I associate it with that dirtiness because it's not the restaurant's fault at all. Those people who do it, they don't care about your business and affecting other people," he said.

Fryman says he's encouraged that the new anti-trash law will help hold litter bugs accountable.

"That little piece of thing that you're going to throw, I would never do it again," he said.

"It'll be nice to have some law enforced," said Francisco Dominguez, who not only owns a business in downtown Dallas, but he also lives there. "Especially when you have a pet and your walking through and personally I use baby wipes on her when she goes into my apartment," he said.

Now lawmakers hope their message is clear. Don't mess with Texas.

Anyone caught and convicted of littering could be sentenced up to 60 hours of community service.

"If you stop 10 people from doing it, then it's a lot and a good idea," Fryman said.

The new law went into effect on September 1.

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