Tuesday, January 29, 2008

1st Chicago tavern busted for smoking

No one had to pay a fine at this place, that's kind of funny. I wonder what the economic consequences of such a convenient ban is going to be. From the Sun-Times today...
The excuses spread like wildfire.

"What's a gin mill without smoke?"

"This law is silly."

"If you get caught, I'll pay the fine."

Michael Trzaska is lucky neither he nor anyone else had to dig in their pockets after the Logan Square bar he co-owns earned the dubious distinction of being first Chicago establishment found in violation of the state's new smoking ban.

A city inspector saw two patrons at Helen's Two Way Lounge light up on Jan. 20 and wrote the bar up, but because the state law makes it difficult to write a ticket locally, Trzaska got off on a technicality, Chicago Health Department spokesman Tim Hadac said Monday.

A new city ordinance, expected to be approved by the City Council in a few weeks, will enable the city to enforce the statewide law, which calls for a $250 fine for the first violation, $500 for the second violation and $2,500 for each violation thereafter within a 12-month period, Hadac said.

Since the smoking ban took effect on Jan. 1, Hadac said the city has received roughly 150 reports of violations.

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