State not accepting any ‘Excuses’

Officials plan to yank liquor license for tavern that hasn’t paid smoking violation fines
Tom Jackson
Dec 2, 2013
If you can’t pay the fine, don’t allow the violations.

That’s the attitude state liquor control officials are adopting with one local business owner who refuses to pay $24,000 in fines racked up for smoking violations in his Perkins Township tavern.

The state intends to yank the liquor license for Excuses, a bar in the plaza at Strub Road near Columbus Avenue.

Because of unpaid interest, the actual figure owed is closer to $40,000, said Sharon Schaeffer, community health director for the Erie County Health Department.

Excuses owes more money in smoking fines than any other Erie County bar.

The Ohio Attorney General’s office has been attempting to collect unpaid fines and has begun targeting the liquor licenses for bars that owe large amounts.

The AG’s office is trying to collect fines in 1,400 cases and has targeted the liquor licenses at 15 businesses statewide with high fines, Schaeffer said.

Ohio Division of Liquor Control officials denied renewal of the liquor license for O.T. Perkins LLC, the license holder for Excuses.

Excuses owner Terry Smith appealed the decision to the Ohio Liquor Control Commission, but commissioners upheld the denial Nov. 18, said Brian Hoyt, a spokesman for the agency.

Smith has until Dec. 9 to file an appeal in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Hoyt said.

As of Wednesday morning, no appeal had been filed.

Smith did not return a phone call to Excuses requesting comment.

He lost a battle earlier this year when he tried to block the fines in an Erie County court case.

Common Pleas Judge Roger Binette ruled Smith waited until it was too late to contest the fines.

“To allow Excuses to sit back, never appeal, refuse to pay the invoices and years later raise issues which could and should have been raised … is improper,” Binette wrote.

Schaeffer outlined where the department stands in trying to collect unpaid fines from other local bars.

Boze’s Bar owes $3,200 and Pump Bar and Grill owes $6,600.

Neither business has made any payments, she said.

Driftwood Tavern formerly owed $4,100, but it has made payments and reduced that sum.

Kaman’s Korner had total fines of $1,600 and has paid $600 so far.

Bud’s Place has paid its fines, Schaeffer said.

Comments

mikesee

This bar has no one to blame except the VOTERS.

Morningbreezes1

I agree... years ago when this so call law went into effect.. They should have revamped the law by stating that the Bar owners had a choice. Either have a non- smoking business and post it as such, or one that allows smoking. A lot of t hem now have outside patios in which folks can go out and smoke. But alot places don't have the room.

Licorice Schtick

Sort of surprising it took this long; this story originally ran back in September of 2011.

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/...

The smoking ban is the best thing that ever happened to nice places. People who had been staying home are back in droves. It's the dives, that can't or won't clean up their dumps, that desperately try to get more business by allowing smoking.

Sandusksquach

Excuses, excuses...

Sandusksquach

Excuses, excuses... Of course they will institute a temporary BYO policy as they are yards from a liquor store and charge an entrance fee

deertracker

Smart business move!

Informed

This bar has no one to blame except itself. When you have a business, you have laws to follow just like everyone else. A bar owner and their employees only have to say "sorry, there is no smoking in here". If a patron decides not to follow that, then they should be asked to leave. It's that simple. And if you decide you don't want to do that, pay the fine.

rjr58

Everyone knows that these bars openly violate the law. Its simple obey the law and as Barretta said " don't do the crime if you can't do the time"

Contango

Reeks of fascism:

The industries that the State doesn't own outright, it controls through political and economic cronyism as well as onerous rules and regulations.

Pretty simple: If you don’t wanna inhale second hand smoke don’t go into the bar.

America’s traditions of personal freedom and individual responsibility are being replaced by the collectivist nanny state.

Why in the h*ll did our Founders fight a war against an oppressive & overbearing regime?

Little wonder that the State of OH continues to lose population and therefore national political clout.

goodtime1212

The Ohio public got it put on the ballet, it went to a state wide vote, the majority voted yes, it was put into law. That is what our boys fight for everyday, the freedom to vote. It can never make everyone happy, but the people voted.

Contango

Re: "people voted."

True, voters have the freedom to be as stupid as they want.

The sheeple often vote for a lot of good-intentioned, wrong-headed legislation - this is but one example.

Nothing like having someone risking their own money in an enterprise and then having others tell 'em how to run it.

There are always unintended consequences like creating fewer entrepreneurs and business owners.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

- H. L. Mencken

Justme...

Call me whatever names you want. You may THINK you know better than the majority of voters, but that does not make it so. I knew what I was voting for, and I'd vote that way again.

Licorice Schtick

I think not being able to go into a place of public accommodation without endangering your health and coming out reeking of smoke is oppressive.

Contango doesn't understand relative rights. He attacks people with whom he disagrees with name-calling and most often calls stuff he doesn't like communism. This time it's fascism. (Ducking for cover.)

Contango

Re: "relative rights."

They don't necessarily apply in this case.

However, I understand inalienable rights that only a govt. can restrict and/or deny, while prohibiting the exercise thereof.

Communism, fascism, whatever you wanna call it, they all flow from Marxist authoritarian philosophy. If the shoe fits - wear it.

As is said, democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner.

This is tyranny of the majority, which is an anathema to American ideals.

Who makes the majority of money from the sale of cigs? The State.

It smacks of hypocrisy.

Justme...

How can it be tyranny of the majority when the majority voted for it? If the government instituted this law without a vote, you'd be correct. As it it, this is democracy. The people decided, and if it were up for a vote again, I bet it would win by an even greater margin.

Contango

Re: "tyranny of the majority"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyr...

Most Germans were OK with the repression of the Jews in Nazi Germany too.

Never say: It can't happen here.

Justme...

But did they put it on the ballot and vote for it?

Contango

Re: "did they put it on the ballot and vote for it,"

The German people popularly elected the Nazis who advocated it.

Nemesis

Actually, yes, in a landslide that made Nixon's victory in 1972 look like a photo finish. Hitler had the biggest electoral mandate of any leader in the 20th century.

That democracy fetish isn't so much fun anymore, eh?

Nemesis

"How can it be tyranny of the majority when the majority voted for it?"

That's exactly why it is - tyranny of the majority over the minority. The majority tyrannizes the minority. How can anyone get through a high school Government class without knowing that term?

Nemesis

Licorice, WHY is it oppressive for someone not to create YOUR favored conditions on THEIR property? I can't stand the resulting ringing in the ears that result from the loud music in many bars, but it's THEIR property and if I don't like the volume, no one is forcing me in there at gunpoint. I don't like spectator sports, but if I go in to a bar, it's THEIR TV set, and their right to set it the way they believe will attract the most paying customers.

Exactly what are "relative rights" and where can I find them in the Constitution?

Truth2u

Justme thinks this is a democracy and it is not, its a Republic. Its obvious that he/she doesn't know the differences since he thinks because the majority votes to take peoples rights to run their business away that its constitutional.

Secondly, it IS fascism. Fascists tell businesses what they must and must not do in areas that are none of their business. Just because YOU voted for something doesn't make it right, any more than if you voted to legalize abortion doesn't make it a 'choice' instead of murder. \

Personally, I think your gutsy in voting this way, who and what gives you the right to tell any business what to do. If you don't like the smoke then don't go there, period. Certainly if your mature enough to know what you voted for you can act like a grown up and avoid crying to the state to force business to run their place YOUR WAY. What a baby.

Oh, I'm a non smoker and non drinker and but I believe in freedom, not being a fascist.

Justme...

I know you are but what am I? ;>)

Nemesis

The shoe fits, Justme, your lack of awareness notwithstanding.

Seacher

Unfortunately, the way laws are voted into law is depressing. They are back loaded with all kinds of other issues with the focus on the main point. I do not smoke but believe in the bar owner's rights as well. Now, this situation was handled very poorly. But, a bar is not a place people have to go to such as the Mall, city buildings, restaurants, etc. They should be allowed to make their decision and have it posted as such. Non-smokers could choose not to go there then. The voted in legislation did not separate. It was all or nothing as usual.

bucsfan98

sounds like your a patron of this place and also a smoker

Nemesis

And THAT is a classic illustration of the problem here. I fully support this business owner, I'm a non-smoker, and I've never been there.

But then, since you're willing to completely jettison this nation's founding principles of limited government and individual liberty in order to force your preferences upon others, it's no surprise that you can't wrap your head around the idea that someone might not base their position on whose ox is being gored.

Good 2 B Me

This is no different than having friends over and asking them to smoke outside. The patrons are at fault too for jumping on the bandwagon. Why are they not offering to pay up and help save what they helped ruin?

Excuses refused to honor the law, they have to pay the price.

my oh my

The Pump Lounge will slide by like it has already due to fact so many local law enforcement members patronize that establishment....

FlyBoy86

Last time I checked it wasn't the County that handed out liquor permits...

lugnut2511

The state liquor control, is totally different than the health department. What liquor violations has this place done? This is BS, your right FlyBoy.. Liquor control has no right sticking their noses into this what so ever.

topcop1991

Why should anyone be forced to breath toxic air? Bars are not smoking lounges! Non smokers have rights too. You can always tell when someone is a smoker, as they look older for thier age, stink of smoke, and usually end up dying younger than they would have they not been stupid and started smoking. It is not COOL!

grumpy

RE: "Why should anyone be forced to breath toxic air? "

Is someone holding a gun or knife on you and forcing you into the bar? Is it the only bar?

Nemesis

Exactly. I have hearing damage from being around too much loud music. In most bars you have to shout to have a conversation. You don't see me demanding a law that bans loud music in bars.

Stop It

If the bar posts on all entry ways that it allows smoking, for you whiney non smokers....don't walk in.

I personally quit a while back. That doesn't give me the right to tell someone else they can't.

That law has hurt many bars and they are fighting it. With action and trying to get the law changed.

goodtime1212

I do agree that in the short term it may hurt the bars, but in long term the generation coming to age that can go into bars will not know anything different, so it will become the new norm, if it already hasn't.

doppleganger

Remember when you could smoke in the grocery store? Crazy. I for one am glad you can't smoke in bars. I remember when my employer banned smoking in our workplace (before the new law). Sure, we whined, but guess what? We all smoked less and that has to be more healthy. I am going on 6 years without and now when I am in a room full of smokers it gives me a "hangover" the next day. It does something to me and zaps all of my energy. It's actually worse than an alcohol hangover. But I know what I am getting in to and If I don't like it I won't go there.

Contango

Re: "my employer banned smoking in our workplace,"

Probably got tired of the ees. wasting time on cigarette breaks and wanted to improve worker productivity.

Ban smoking, next 64 oz. drinks, trans fats, too much salt, sugar, etc.

This society is headed for the bureaucratic central planners deciding each & every single facet of our lives.

Eventually it'll all seem normal and we won't miss our freedom, because they'll assure us that we're free.

doppleganger

Re: "Probably got tired of the ees. wasting time on cigarette breaks and wanted to improve worker productivity."

No, we could smoke at our work station while working. After they banned it is when we had to go on break and go outside.

Before anyone tries to tell me what I can and cannot eat, they better look at taking pop and candy off of the welfare cards. No nutritional value - no food stamp card. I actually use my own money to eat unhealthy.

Nemesis

"Sure, we whined, but guess what? We all smoked less and that has to be more healthy. I am going on 6 years without"

So, doppelganger, your justification is that you want someone to force you to take the positive steps you lack the wherewithal to take on your own?

Nemesis

So, goodtime, your argument is now that tyranny is OK because after a generation or so, people will forget what freedom was?

Licorice Schtick

"whiney non smokers"? Seriously? Because from where I sit it's the smokers and the dive bars that illegally permit smoking that are doing the whining.

puddin95

But the bookmaking is o.k. ?

Centauri

QUESTION: Where do the fines go?

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3794.08
"There is hereby created in the state treasury the smoke free indoor air fund. All fines collected pursuant to this chapter and any grant, contribution, or other moneys received by the department of health for the purposes of this chapter shall be credited to the smoke free indoor air fund and used solely for the purposes of this chapter."

I checked the Ohio State Treasury and found NO such fund. I called and even sent an email about this "phantom" fund. Nobody in Ohio could give me a decent answer.

http://www.tos.ohio.gov/

Where is the money?

QUESTION: Why should anybody pay the fine if nobody at the state level can account for it?

ORC 3794.08 must be another joke Ohio law if a "smoke free indoor air fund" cannot be found or accounted for. Where did the money go? General fund? Nobody at the state level in Ohio seems to know.

A Young Adult's...

Unreal. Not allowing smoking in bars has absolutely nothing to do with our freedoms. They aren't being denied the right to smoke. They are only being denied the right to negatively affect other people with their smoking. You want to smoke? Take your lazy butt outside.

bucsfan98

amen thats how i feel to

Nemesis

No. Youmg Adult and several others here have a crippling misconception of freedom. Let's break it down with an example:

We have bar patrons A, B, and C. A is a smoker, and likes to have a smoke with his whiskey. B is a non-smoker, but he doesn't mind a smoky bar because there are women there who smoke, and his stock in trade is picking up women who make poor choices. C is a non-smoker who is nauseated at the mere sight of someone smoking, even on TV.

We have two bar owners, D and E. D is an ex-smoker, the most ardent type of anti-smoker, and would never allow smoking in his establishment. E doesn't care one way or the other, but he's discovered that smokers tend to drink more (addictive personalities and all that.)

In a free society (you know, what the Founders intended and what some people would still like to think America is) D and E can each set the policy in their own establishment. A and B can go to E's bar, and get what they want - a drink with a smoke, or the opportunity to buy drinks for women who smoke, respectively. C can go to D's bar. Everybody's needs get met in VOLUNTARY transactions. No one is forced to do buy or sell anything against their wishes. Yes, B is exposed to second hand smoke, but he CHOOSES to accept that risk because he perceives a benefit that, to him, is worth the risk. The free market is allowed to work, and if there are more customers who want a smoking bar, E can grow his business, and open more locations; if there are more customers who want a smoke-free bar, then D will be able to expand. Before anyone objects that it can't work that way, it was in the years before this law went into effect, and the number of establishments that were smoke-free BY CHOICE was rapidly growing.

In the fascist model some of you are advocating, C is outraged that someone who doesn't share his preferences is getting what they want (which is typically the impulse that drives statist/authoritarian/fascist initiatives.) So he gets the government to pass a law that ALL bars must cater to HIS preferences. Now C is happy. D is happy because he doesn't have to compete with E in a free market. A, B, however, can't get what they want - their preferences have been declared anathema by Big Brother, and E is not allowed to offer the goods and services his customers desire. A sizable portion of the population has their rights to freedom of association, freedom to transact business, and freedom to CHOOSE what risks they accept FOR THEMSELVES denied.

By the way, in that illustration, the person whose view of smoking is closest to my own is C. However, unlike some of you, I don't seek to impose my preferences on others through force.

A Young Adult's...

What you fail to understand is this goes beyond preference. Smoking in establishments affects other patron's health. Your long rant was not needed as I completely understand why you think you are all-knowing.

As to the right to choose to allow it, if one owner does, every owner will. As a non-smoker, why should my choice on where to grab a drink be affected by others? Smoking is the unhealthy behavior which negatively affects others in close proximity.

Nemesis

"What you fail to understand is this goes beyond preference. Smoking in establishments affects other patron's health. "

So do a LOT of preferences. It's still JUST a preference - you can live a perfectly healthy life without ever setting foot in a bar. You prefer to drink socially without the risk of second hand smoke, others prefer otherwise, or have no preference. You want everyone to be forced to live under your preferences.

"As to the right to choose to allow it, if one owner does, every owner will."

The empirical evidence says otherwise, since Northern Ohio has had smoke free eating and drinking establishments longer than anyone qualified to call themselves a young adult has been of drinking age, and in the 5 years prior to this law's passage, the number grew dramatically. The market speaks and vendors respond, and, as some of your fellow supporters have pointed out, the market for smoke-free bars is large enough to constitute a majority of Ohio voters.

Thus, your assertion is factually false. By the time this law passed, about the only type of bar you couldn't find in a smoke free version was a dive biker bar catering to the low tooth-to-tattoo crowd, but let's face it, if you're into being all self righteous about healthy lifestyles AND want to hang out in a place like that, it means you're OK with far bigger threats to your health than second hand smoke.

"As a non-smoker, why should my choice on where to grab a drink be affected by others? Smoking is the unhealthy behavior which negatively affects others in close proximity."

So is music played at the volume typical in bars. Why should potentially hundreds of other customers have to accommodate your preference? I like classical music - should I march into a country/western bar and demand they change the tune? And yes, before you waste time claiming it's not the same, it is, and here's why:

You have the right to purchase a drink in your choice of environment from any willing vendor. You have the right to purchase whatever goods or services you like, PROVIDED you can find someone willing to sell it to you at an agreeable price. If no one is willing to sell you what you want, in a free society, you're out of luck. I would very much like to try haggis, but no one is willing to make it and serve it because no one else wants it. That doesn't give me the right to have the government force a restaurant to serve it to me at gunpoint.

And yes, it's the same - a drink in a smoke free environment, haggis in a restaurant, they are both goods and services that people might seek to purchase. The fact that the drink in the smoke free environment is better for your health than the drink in the smoky environment doesn't change the fact that they are both goods that people willingly buy and sell, any more than the differing health impact of tofu versus pork rinds changes the fact that they are both goods that people willingly buy and sell. The fact that you want to buy a drink in a smoke free bar at the corner of Columbus and Strub no more obligates someone to operate a smoke free bar at that location than it obligates anyone to operate ANY kind of bar there.

In the end, it's commodity A and commodity B, where B is provably harmful to your health in comparison to A. You can buy whichever one for which you can find willing sellers. Except you can't STAND that someone else is a buying commodity B just around the corner from where you're buying commodity A, so you have to get our benevolent overlords to force everyone to only buy and sell commodity A. No matter how you spin it, you're the one who's FORCIBLY denying someone what they want to buy when someone's willing to sell it to them, and that makes you the fascist side of this controversy. No one is trying to stop you from completing an a voluntary transaction with a willing party.

Let's say, hypothetically, that you live in a town where you're the only person in town who want's a smoke free bar. All the bar owners own in town are independently wealthy, own their buildings outright, no landlords or mortgages, and thus can afford to simply close up shop in protest of this law. So, despite the law, you STILL can't grab a drink in a smoke free bar anywhere in town. Would you have the state send armed troops into town to force those owners to open for business and operate bars against their will? After all, it violates the same bizarre rights you assert in justification of this law - the right to have someone sell you a drink in the environment you prefer against their will.

Dr. Information

Bottom line they should have let the owner of an establishment make the call. That is how this entire smoking ban should of went down.

Informed

No. An owner of a business has no right to allow some patrons to harm other patrons, not to mention employees.

Contango

Well, better ban alcohol, cause it's abuse is estimated to cost our society approx. $224B annually.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/h...

No bars & no smoking for a healthier country right?

Dr. Information

Beat me to the punch Contango. So its okay for patrons to go into a bar, get plowed drunk, hop in a car and kill someone vs not being okay for an owner to set the rules of what is and isn't allowed (smoking).

Going into an establishment is not a right, its a choice. If you don't like smoke, don't go in, take your money somewhere else.

Contango

Hey! Once the U.S. achieves universal "free" healthcare, I can think of a lot of sports and activities that I don't participate in or care about that should be banned.

Why in h*ll should I help fund someone's recklessness or unhealthy behavior?

(He wrote factiously.)

BTW: Herr Hitler notoriously hated smoking and was undoubtedly the original "smoking Nazi."

Informed

Where on earth did you come up with that I ever said drinking and driving are okay? That is an ignorant response!
It is not every allowable for a business owner to allow a patron to harm another patron, whether it be with physical violence, or secondhand smoke.
If an establishment is open to the public, then all people have the right to go there unless there is a legal reason that they don't have that right (under 21, probation, etc).
If you want to smoke, go outside or do it on your own property. Knock yourself out! But do not do it around me in a place of business that I have every right to be in as you.

Contango

Re: "If you want to smoke, go outside or do it on your own property."

So would you be OK with banning smoking in cars or homes with children in them?

Informed

Cars are your own property. Duh. And I don't think any child should be exposed to secondhand smoke, and parents that do that are not good parents. Good parents do not purposefully and consistently place their child in harm's way. Just like car seats. Parents that don't make their child sit in them are not good parents. Period.

Contango

Re: "Cars are your own property."

And the bar isn't the owner's property? Duh.

It's your CHOICE to go into a smoking bar or not.

Informed

But it is open to the public. A person's car is not.

Contango

Re: " But it is open to the public."

Or not. The legislation didn't even allow for for-profit "clubs."

This is a case of the law overstepping into private property rights and it should be unconstitutional.

Informed

Someone else drinking alcohol around me does not affect my health.

Contango

Re: "drinking alcohol,"

Many want to ban alcohol because of it's cost to society, why aren't you in favor of that?

The effects are not always direct like smoking.

Are you OK with legalizing marijuana?

Informed

This is a personal health issue, not a damage to society issue.

Contango

Re: "This is a personal health issue,"

And who is FORCING you to enter a smoking bar?

Informed

Again, I have every right to enter such establishment as anyone else and not be harmed.

Contango

Re: "I have every right to enter such establishment."

And you have every right NOT to enter an establishment.

BTW: Some people are "harmed" by others' perfume or cologne. Fragrance-free is gaining ground.

http://invisibledisabilities.org...

Enjoy your slippery slope on the way to authoritarianism.

Informed

Not a slippery slope at all. You are free to do as you please as long as it doesn't harm others.

Nemesis

NON-CONSENTING others.

Contango

Re: "You are free to do as you please,"

A naive assumption.

And the bar owner can refuse to grant you permission to enter or to serve you.

The law does not give you the freedom to enter wherever you choose.

Nemesis

No, you have a right to enter or not enter, and to be made aware of the risks undetaken by entering.

You have a right to make an informed choice, not to force people to offer what you choose.

Dr. Information

Informed lives in some magical world where owners don't have a say and unicorns and pixie dust enchant their lives.

An owner of a bar has the right to or not to serve you. Owners should have been given the choice. While I think many would have went smoke free, a few wouldn't have. Again, owners, they own the place, not u Informed.

Informed

An owner cannot refuse to serve you without a legitimate reason.

Nemesis

Yes they can, unless it's because of your membership in what the court calls a "suspect class" (which most of us know as a protected class) and then, the burden is upon you to prove that is their reason.

deertracker

Now that YOU would know about pooh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nemesis

"An owner of a business has no right to allow some patrons to harm other patrons, not to mention employees."

Better tell that to the guy running the gym with a boxing league, or the martial arts dojo with full contact sparring.

Better tell that to every "meet market" bar/club where people go to hook up that doesn't have the bouncer testing people for STD's at the door.

Your evaluation of harm and risk is forgetting one very important factor - consent. No one forces you to enter the boxing ring, the octagon, or the bar, and unless you're a drooling moron, you consent to enter fully cognizant of the risks to which you are VOLUNTARILY exposing yourself.

Informed

You are comparing apples to oranges. The people in the gym boxing league or martial arts are engaging themselves in a potentially harmful behavior and that is the reason they are there. A non-smoker is not.
If a club or bar is one which is their for the purpose of sex, then yes, they would be required to provide some safeguards. Since that is not the purpose of a bar (they aren't sex clubs), your argument doesn't apply.

Nemesis

"You are comparing apples to oranges. The people in the gym boxing league or martial arts are engaging themselves in a potentially harmful behavior and that is the reason they are there. A non-smoker is not."

Then why is the non-smoker there, because there ARE other venues that are VOLUNTARILY smoke-free. The comparison is completely valid - we have patrons of a business who choose to accept the risk of harm from other patrons because they perceive benefit they cannot get elsewhere.

"If a club or bar is one which is their for the purpose of sex, then yes, they would be required to provide some safeguards. Since that is not the purpose of a bar (they aren't sex clubs), your argument doesn't apply."

Most bars operate on a common business model where the incentive to pay $3 + tip for a beer you could have at home for $1 is immersion in a target-rich environment for hooking up. The entire reason for "ladie's night" promotions is to make improve this aspect of the situation. Customers know this premise and implicitly accept the value proposition.

And Hooters was all about family-friendly fun until a guy filed a discrimination lawsuit because they wouldn't hire him as waiter -yeah, right. There is a legal concept known as assumption of risk - when you willingly engage in a transaction that places you at risk, you assume that risk as a cost of the benefit you seek from the transaction. Without it, you wouldn't be able to afford instruction or facilitation of most recreational activities (and, lets face it, bar hopping is a recreational activity.)

Contango

Re: "A non-smoker is not."

Again, if you truly believe in freedom, you MUST allow others to exercise theirs as they see fit.

This law is an anathema to individual freedom and personal responsibility.

Centauri

Before anybody pays a fine, ask where the fine is going. Ask for written proof where the fines go and how much was collected into that phantom fund. Nobody is talking.

One has a choice to go into a bar or tavern. All through the years, taverns were known to be filled with pipe, cigar and cigarette smokers. Spittoons for those who chew.

Smoking and non-smoking bars and taverns would give smokers and non-smokers a choice. Maybe good for competition too.

The other day when I was in a store, somebody "crop dusted" and I walked right into it. It was a nasty stench. I had no choice as there was no warning to me. Must have been a non-smoker who did the dirty deed.

Later in another store, I had to pee. Somebody refused to courtesy flush in one of the stalls. I had to hold my breath and get the heck out of there as fast as I could. Must have been another non-smoker.

How about some more laws in Ohio like no passing gas in a public area and fines for those who do not provide a courtesy flush in a public restroom.

Underdog

Fact of the matter is good people will lose the jobs that support their families. The law was bullshit to begin with. Why not fine the people they caught smoking? Didn't Paul Hauke from Lake Wilmer make a point when he went into the Erie County Health Department and light up? Did they fine themselves?

Informed

The difference is they didn't allow it.

KURTje

Customs are changing like it or not. Maybe Vietnam Vets can sue Uncle Sam because the troopers were issued smokes in their C-Rations.

Nemesis

Completely different concept. They were a captive audience. Last time I checked, the Selective Service wasn't frog-marching anyone into bars, nor were the MP's chasing down those who left bars.

Customs changing is fine - personally, I'd prefer that all businesses were smoke free, as long as they made the change WILLINGLY. When government tries to FORCE custom, then we have a problem.

Nemesis

@goodtime1212: "The Ohio public got it put on the ballet, it went to a state wide vote, the majority voted yes, it was put into law. That is what our boys fight for everyday, the freedom to vote."

No, it's not, and it's not the reason we fought the revolution, and your belief that it is is a testament to our lousy education system. It's a central misconception that the American Revolution was about, and the factor that set the USA apart from other nations was democracy. Democracy predates the American Revolution in both England and elsewhere. The goal of the Founders was not democracy, but liberty, and the ideal that set the USA apart from other nations was that of limited government. That is why our Constitution creates a set of actions that government may not undertake, REGARDLESS of the strength of voter approval.

Slavery, Jim Crow, and prayer in school all enjoyed strong voter support where they were in place. The majority voted for them to be put into law.

Consider that every year millions of people seek to immigrate to the USA, where they will not be able to vote for at least a decade, from countries where they
can currently vote.

@Justme: "Call me whatever names you want. You may THINK you know better than the majority of voters, but that does not make it so. I knew what I was voting for, and I'd vote that way again."

There's no namecalling - he simply accurately identified the philosophy under which you are operating, which is fascism - the belief that most people are incapable of making sound choices for themselves and thus these choices should be made for them by their "betters" in government, for the good of everyone.

Let's take a look at who else THOUGHT they knew better than the majority of voters. Madeline Murray O'Hare, Brown of Brown v. Board of Education, Tinker of Tinker v. Des Moines, Dred Scott, Martin Luther King, and Rosa Parks, for starters, all of whom acted, with and without the support of the courts, in defiance of laws supported by the majority of voters.

The fact that you understood your vote, and would cast it the same way again, is nothing of which to be proud. It's a vote for fascism, and against the principles on which this nation was founded.

If someone wants to smoke and buy drinks, and someone else meets that desire by offering them a place to do so, it's none of your (or my) business. If you don't like it, DON'T GO THERE. If someone wants to ogle naked ladies and buy drinks, and someone else meets that desire by offering them a place to do so, it's none of your (or my) business. If someone wants to buy greasy fried food, and someone else offers to sell it to them, it's none of your (or my) business.

Whenever people ignore the question of whether something is a proper role for government, and the principles that might answer that question, and instead
rest on the claim that the majority voted for it, they're providing a glaring example of the central problem of democracy - that it places decisions in the hands of those who don't grasp the concepts at stake. That, among other reasons, is why the Founders were suspicious of democracy, which one of them described as "two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner."

Centauri

"The goal of the Founders was not democracy, but liberty, and the ideal that set the USA apart from other nations was that of limited government."

Excellent comment!!

You get a standing ovation:
http://www.pacdv.com/sounds/appl...

The average voter doesn't have a clue and votes in stupid laws like this smoking ban in bars and taverns.

Can anybody tell me where all of the smoking fines go? Into somebody's pocket?

Jack518

The State raised taxes on cigs to have money to treat cancer patients, right? Once the money came in from the cig manufacturs resulting from lawsuit filed by the states, most states used the money to balance their budgets.

I wonder why states have not raised taxes on beer. I drive by convient stores and see the same people carring out large containers of beer every night after they get off work. Everyone is against drunk driving, so why haven't states raised taxes on beer, wine and liquor as high as cigs? I smoke, but do not drink. Where are my rights?

Just wondering.