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​Licking Ice Cream That Others May Buy Now Crime In Arizona

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​Licking Ice Cream That Others May Buy Now Crime In Arizona

Licking ice cream that other people might buy from a shop is now a crime in Arizona, following Governor Doug Ducey's signing of a new anti-tampering law on Thursday (18 February).

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The new law, which means offenders will now face jail time, follows a viral video that landed a man in Texas in jail last year, after he filmed himself licking ice cream and putting the container back into a supermarket freezer.

According to Phoenix New Times, the new legislation in Arizona now makes it a Class 1 misdemeanour to intentionally introduce, add or mingle 'any bodily fluid or foreign object not intended for human consumption with water, food, or drink'.

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The misdemeanour applies if someone actually consumes the produce, or if the damage of the contamination is at least $1,000 (£713).

If the damage is less than that amount, or nobody ends up consuming the contaminated produce, people will still face a Class 2 misdemeanour with the potential for four months in jail at a $750 (£535) fine.

A final provision allows 'the calculation of damages caused by the contamination to include: a) the cost to clean and sanitize the contaminated area; and b) any monetary compensation given to a human being who consumed the contaminated water, food, drink or other product'.

Governor Doug Ducey. Credit: PA
Governor Doug Ducey. Credit: PA
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Arizona State Senator TJ Shope said last year when introducing a similar bill that existing statutes made it difficult to prosecute people for contaminating store food or drink.

While that proposal didn't make it, this year's version found bipartisan support, with the SB 1167 bill passing with two-thirds supporter in the Senate and nearly unanimous support in the House of 56-3, with one member abstaining from voting.

Last year, 24-year-old D'Adrien Anderson, 24, was sentenced to 30 days in prison after filming himself licking ice cream and putting it back into a supermarket freezer, as part of a viral trend.

He was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $1,565 1,116) to the ice cream company, Blue Bell Creameries, along with being ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.

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Credit: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
Credit: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

Anderson was also sentenced to two years' probation for the stunt, footage of which had been shared on social media last August.

He pleaded guilty to misdemeanour criminal mischief, telling police he licked the ice cream as a prank before returning to buy it.

However, as a precaution, Blue Bell Creameries had to replace all of the ice cream in the freezer - at a cost of $1,565.

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The Jefferson County District Attorney's Office said: "Anderson's actions caused public concerns about the safety and quality of consumer products offered for public consumption, impacted Blue Bell consumer confidence and caused the company financial loss. This type of activity will not be tolerated."

Texas Governor Greg Abbott previously praised police for tracking down another teenager who had taken part in the same stunt, saying in a tweet: "Don't Mess With Texas... or with Blue Bell."

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/D'Adrien Anderson

Topics: Viral, News, US News, ice cream

Jess Hardiman
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