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Local News

April 23, 2014

Do the crime, you’ll face a bigger fine

DUNCAN — It just got considerably more expensive to be cruel to animals, ride a bike at night without a light, drive over a fire hose and noodle in a city lake.

The Duncan City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to increase the amount of municipal fines and bonds associated with dozens of misdemeanor offenses.

The changes affect practically every offense imaginable, save for parking and speeding violations.

The desire is not to bring the hammer down on violators but to make the local schedule of fines and bonds comport with changes in state law and to offset the costs of paying police officers and court staff, said Duncan City Attorney David Hammond.

Mayor Gene Brown said he realizes some might be unhappy with the increased fines.

“Anytime you raise the dues makes somebody unhappy,” Brown said.

But the mayor said don’t blame the council for illegal behavior.

“They’re the ones who are making the decision to do it, not us,” he said.

Among the changes:

* Cruelty to animals goes from a maximum $144 to a maximum $500.

* Riding a bike at night without a light and driving over a fire hose goes from a $134 maximum penalty to a $250 maximum.

* Noodling, or unlawfully taking game fish from a city lake, does from $144 to $250, as does swimming after sundown in a city lake.

* Excessive growth of weeds increases from up to $199 to a possible $300 while a marijuana violation is increased from a possible $594 to a maximum $700.

8 Various violations of disturbing the peace, including exposing your private parts, fighting, using insulting language, pointing a pistol, public intoxication and unreasonable noise, will now be punishable by up to a $400 penalty rather than the previous fine of $199.

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