Smoking Ban Remains Intact

The ruling just came out late this afternoon. I checked a couple of hours ago and didn’t see anything. You can get the details from the Statesman or News8Austin. Essentially, the judge ruled that bars should have the option for judicial review when they’re up for license or permit revokation from violating the ban. He also effectively dropped the $2,000 fine written into the law to $500, because that’s the penalty by state law for a Class C misdemeanor violation. He also ruled that showing some decrease in revenue at some of the bars affected by the ban didn’t outweigh the public health risks.

So, you still can’t smoke in bars. It still has to be enforced by the bars. The fine for the bar has dropped and they have a chance for review if they’re in danger of losing a license or permit. Personally, I’m glad the ban stands, but I think that the bar shouldn’t be the only liable party when a violation occurs. It should be the bar and the violator, just as it is in offenses that involve drinking. That way, some of the obligation is taken off the bar owners and staff and put on the individual.

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