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Leash-Less Dog Walkers Could Get Hit With A $100 Fine

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No matter how well-behaved your dog might be, walking him or her without a leash in L.A. could net you a $100—or more—fine. This is another one of those "quality of life" issues handled by a pilot program called the Administrative Citation Enforcement, L.A. Times reports. Earlier, we reported that you could be fined for throwing a loud party, using a gasoline-powered leaf blower or having a noisy dog. Those fines could be as much as $250 for the first offense and $1,000 for the third.

Basically, these "quality of life" crimes pertain to things that people do that aren't really jail-able offenses, but they are inconsiderate. Until now, police officers had two options: issue a weak warning, or try to charge someone with a misdemeanor. What this program does is provide a middle ground.

The program was proposed by Councilman Paul Koretz last year, who told the Times, "The city just needs a little clout. This is one of the most frequent complaints we get: that the city doesn't enforce its regulation—and it's true."

Those offenses that pertain to animals, like walking your dog without a leash, begin at $100 fines, then move to $500 for a third offense. Most others will begin at $250 and escalate to $1,000. Finable offenses include public drinking, fireworks, smoking where you're not supposed to, putting garbage in the street or public urination.

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Officers will still have the option of giving a warning or pursuing criminal charges.

The program was approved by the City Council today, but needs approval from Mayor Eric Garcetti as well before it can go into effect. If it does, it's estimated to generate an annual revenue of $1.59 million.

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