Starting Wednesday, the small South Sound town of Chehalis is banning panhandling in a number of spots around town in hopes of curbing aggressive behavior.

Share story

CHEHALIS, Wash. (AP) — Starting Wednesday, the small South Sound town of Chehalis is banning panhandling in a number of spots around town in hopes of curbing aggressive behavior.

KOMO-TV reports that panhandling will be prohibited on all of the freeway on- and off-ramps in Chehalis; along a retail corridor within 300 feet of storefronts; at parked cars or at drivers entering and exiting their vehicles; and at night. First-time offenders face a fine of up to $250. Fines can increase to $1,000 and 90 days in jail for a second offense.

Mayor Dennis Dawes says the ordinance is specific so as not to punish peaceful panhandling, which is protected under the Constitution. Much of the ordinance was based off a similar one in Centralia.