COVID-19 has been nothing if not disruptive – and confusing – and there is plenty more of that confusion to go around. While Texas’s governor is attempting to help Texas get back in the saddle, one of his more controversial tactics is halting the state’s mask mandate. Businesses are free to set their own requirements, and that is exactly the route in which many are going. Apparently, the governor’s optimism and enthusiasm are not universally shared, and guests in those businesses that require masks are required to oblige – or they could face disorderly conduct charges. If an issue involving a mask – or anything else – gets you in legal hot water, consult with an experienced Gatesville criminal defense attorney today.
Popular Destinations around Texas Weigh In
Some of the most popular destinations throughout the State of Texas have come down on the side of prudence and continue to require that masks be worn, including:
Six Flags over Texas
The Perot Museum
The Dallas Zoo
Many city-owned indoor spaces throughout the state
Additionally, many owners of small businesses stand in unity with these large enterprises and require that their patrons wear masks. Business owners are not only concerned with the safety of their customers but also with the safety of their employees. While continuing to require masks allows these business owners additional peace of mind, it has not stopped some guests from complaining bitterly – and causing a stir generally.
Is It Disorderly Conduct?
If you make a scene regarding a business’s mask requirement, it could amount to disorderly conduct. In the State of Texas, there are comprehensive laws in place that prohibit people from disturbing the peace of others, and in specific situations, it adds up to disorderly conduct, which makes offending, upsetting, annoying, and/or scaring others a criminal act. Additionally, disturbing the community at large can also qualify. The following are all examples of disorderly conduct in Texas:
Using obscene and/or abusive language in public
Engaging in an offensive display or gesture in public that incites a violent response
Fighting in public
Threatening or abusing someone (without being provoked) in public
Displaying a firearm in public to provoke, alarm, or upset others
Creating excess noise either in public
While mask requirements were very likely not envisioned when these laws were enacted, they have been invoked repeatedly to address the matter of guests in businesses who fail to comply with – or create a stir about – mask mandates.