D.C. votes to eliminate jail-time for metro fare dodgers

I-270

A new decision by the Washington D.C. Council has done away with arrest or jail time as an option for people who get caught dodging metro fares or jumping the turnstiles in D.C.

Now, the maximum penalty for a fare dodger is a $50 fine.

Going back to 1978, fare evasion had been punishable by a $300 fine and a possibly a ten-day jail sentence.

The bill also decriminalizes other minor metro infractions, such as eating food and drinking while riding through the system.

The decision comes at a time when metro enforcement officers have been criticized for harsh crackdown tactics against fare dodgers including rough physical take downs and the use of pepper spray.

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