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|Local Health Officials and Police to Ticket Smoking Violators
|A Knox County Health Department official says a new tool is in place to enforce the Smoke Free Illinois Act.
Director of Environmental Health for the Knox County Health Department, Wil Hayes, says law enforcement and health department officials can now write administrative tickets to individuals or businesses found that violate the act.
Hayes says if a ticket is written, the business or person will have 10 days to request a hearing before an administrative judge through the health department. The local health department forwards the request to the state public health department to schedule the hearings, which will be held in Peoria.
Hayes tells WGIL people who request a hearing and fail to show up will face consequences.
"Those hearings will require the individual to show up or they'll automatically be found guilty. They also require whoever the witness was, whether it be law enforcement or health department, to show up at those hearings also to testify."
Hayes says another option is to simply pay the citation and move on. He says the tickets are similar to a parking ticket. He says it's not an issue that will go through the court system initially - it's a civil citation to go before administrative law judge if a person or business appeals.
Hayes says the enforcing agency will get half of the ticket money and the state public health department gets the rest. He says the goal is not to generate revenue through the program, it's to create an atmosphere in which people can go out if they want and not have to deal with smoking.
|09 19 09 by Newsroom
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