If some areas of this state is gonna treat smoking ban violations as criminal reports, I REALLY hope the cops don't go as far as putting an innocent smoker in cuffs.
If anyone in IL thinks violating a smoking ban is a crime, then sounds like you live WELL outta Chicagoland.
Betta make sure you call 911! I'm committing a crime by smoking a cig while visiting a bar. Maybe I'll be on the FBI's Most Wanted list not for murdering a chick...but for smoking a Newport. At least I don't have a gun in my pockets. LOL!!!
Statewide smoking ban amended
The Illinois House today gave thumbs up to legislation that would amend the state's year-old smoking ban, addressing enforcement problems that have arisen primarily in rural counties and Downstate.
The bill clarifies that violations of the law will be treated as civil matters and handled through a administrative process managed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Currently, violations are typically treated as criminal complaints and brought before county courts. But in October, a Bureau County judge ruled that the smoking ban could not be enforced through the courts because administrative rules laying out a process for handling violations hadn't been finalized.
In rural counties where the law was never popular to begin with, state's attorneys stopped pursuing complaints.
Under the amended law, state's attorneys would no longer have a role in enforcing the smoking ban. The bill goes to the Senate this week, and supporters say they are cautiously optimistic about its prospects.
Under Illinois' ban, smoking is prohibited in nearly all public places, including restaurants, bars, indoor theaters, concert halls, educational facilities and auditoriums. Fines are $100 to $250 for smokers and $250 and up for business owners.