Tuesday, September 18, 2007

As For The Arkansas No Smoking In Vehicle With A Child In A Car Seat...

Uncle Ralph knew what he was talking about. I found this:

Arkansas and Louisiana appear to be the only two states that have passed bans on smoking in private motor vehicles, but the prohibitions are limited to cars in which children below certain ages are riding. Several other states, including California, Maine, New York, and Utah, appear to have considered similar legislation, but only Arkansas and Louisiana have adopted their bills as law. Both states passed their laws in 2006.

The Arkansas law, HB 1046, took effect in July. It prohibits smoking by anyone in a motor vehicle in which a child who is required by law to be riding in a child restraint system is riding. (In Arkansas, this is a child who is less than six years old or who weighs less than 60 pounds. ) Violators are subject to a fine of up to $ 25, but any violator who proves to the court that he has entered into a smoking cessation program may have his fine eliminated for a first offense.

The Louisiana law, Act 838, took effect in August. It prohibits smoking by anyone in a motor vehicle, van, or pickup truck in which a child subject to the state's child restraint or seat belt law is present, whether or not the vehicle's windows are down. In effect, this means that the ban applies whenever a child under age 13 is in the vehicle. Violators must be fined $ 150 per offense or, at the judge's discretion, sentenced to up to 24 hours of community service. Violation is a primary offense, that is, a police officer may stop the vehicle solely for this violation without having to observe another type of motor vehicle violation. Probable cause for arrest is based solely on the officer's clear and unobstructed view of someone smoking in the vehicle.

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