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|Charges Dropped Against McDonough County Smokers
|A McDonough County Court has dismissed charges against nine people who were criminally charged for smoking cigarettes in a public establishment in September 2008.
Bushnell Attorney C.F. Pierce and Peoria Attorney Dan O'Day represented nine of the individuals arrested, including the owners of the Silver Fox tavern and Bowser's, two establishments where the arrests took place.
"It has been established in a court of law that people who are smoking in public are not criminals, therefore they have no reason to be tried as such," said Pierce. "The cases have to be brought in a quasi-civil proceeding being an administrative process; such as the Department of Public Health. The dismissals are reflective of the current trend that these smoking cases were not adequately considered and reviewed prior to being voted on by the Legislature. This doesn't mean that you're legally able to smoke in public - but to enforce a non-smoking law, the lawmakers and State's Attorneys are going to have to redefine their procedures."
The McDonough County Circuit Court signed the order granting the defense motion to dismiss charges on April 22, 2009 against the nine individuals who were charged criminally in September 2008 for smoking in public or allowing smoking to take place. The arrests at the two Bushnell taverns were part of a sting operation executed by McDonough County late last year. The legislation which resulted in the law prohibiting smoking in public has been challenged in courts throughout the State of Illinois and has met mixed results.
(news release submitted by C.F. Pierce, Attorney at Law, Bushnell, IL)
|04 26 09 by Newsroom
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