CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Getting arrested for trick-or-treating?
The super-strict, weird law haunts Chesapeake every year.
So what are we talking about? A city ordinance that puts an age limit on trick-or-treating.
People might argue that it's an activity for children, but others might feel if older teens want to trick-or-treat and are staying out of trouble it shouldn't be an issue.
Another question: Does an age limit on trick-or-treating limit the childhood of some teens?
The tweet below pretty much sums up how people feel about the law.
Despite the information in the tweet being a year old, it was tweeted this year, and it got people talking.
So we're looking to verify: Is that city ordinance, threatening jail time for trick-or-treaters over the age of 12, still on the books?
We took a look at Chesapeake's city codes and an interview we did with Mayor Rick West from February.
In March, city council voted to remove the penalty and raise the age limit from 12-years-old to 14-years-old.
The full ordinance on trick-or-treat activities for Chesapeake is below.
Mayor West noted that in the 45 years the rule was on the books, it was never enforced.
Overage trick-or-treating is still on the books, but kids won't face any jail time or fines.
In a post on the City of Chesapeake's Facebook page, the city said:
In October of 2018, a 45-year-old City of Chesapeake ordinance about trick-or-treating rules became a viral sensation. The fact was, though, that this law had never been enforced; it only existed to give Police an option, should things get out of hand on Halloween. In fact, it was created following a particularly violent Halloween in a neighboring City.
While we appreciate all of the concern and attention we received from around the country last year, we’d like to assure everyone that, in fact, we do NOT arrest teens for trick-or-treating and never have. Earlier this year, the Chesapeake City Council voted to remove the (never before used) penalty of jail time from the ordinance and to raise the age limit from 12 to 14. This makes our ordinance one of the least restrictive in the entire Hampton Roads region.
The City of Chesapeake wishes everyone a safe, fun, and candy-filled Halloween!
But, if you are out there causing trouble like smashing pumpkins, messing with people's decorations, picking on younger kids who are just trying to collect some candy or anything else, you will get busted.