Parents who smoke with kids in the car in Ohio could end up paying a $500 ticket if a proposed law is passed.
According to local Cincinnati news station WDSU Channel 6, a new law will make it illegal for anyone to smoke in a car with a child under the age of 6-years-old. Senator Charleta Tavares has taken Senate Bill 106 to the Ohio lawmakers. It states first-time offenders would face a $500 fine. For each subsequent violation, the offender could face a $750 fine. The proposed bill would make it a primary offense for people who commit the crime.
Should the new Ohio law pass, the state will join seven other states that already have similar laws when it comes to smoking in a car with children. Alabama, Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Oregon, Vermont, and Virginia have laws on the books regarding this very sensitive subject.
However, there is a big difference between the proposed Ohio law and the states that already have laws in place. The age limit is the lowest of all the states. Each state has a different age, where it is illegal to smoke with a kid in the car. California and Oregon the age is 18. Maine it is 16, Arkansas it is 14, and in Louisiana it is 13. Both Virginia and Vermont currently have the lowest age set at 8-years-old.
If you get caught smoking with a child in the car in Ohio, you could soon have to pay a $500 fine. Virginia already has a similar law in place.— Katy Andersen (@KatyAndNews) April 5, 2018
Should this bill pass and do you think W. Va. should follow? https://t.co/WW64dTJyvG
Senator Tavares recently released a statement on why the Ohio age is so young.
"This bill is in very early stages. It received its first hearing in February, and if it receives future hearings, individuals and organizations will be able to come to the Statehouse to weigh in on the bill. That includes making recommendations for changes. I hope this bill gets the attention it deserves in order to protect our kids from the dangers of secondhand smoke,” the statement read.
However when it comes to the fines for violating the law, the Ohio bill has the steepest ones. For example, the ticket in Maine is $50, while a ticket in California is $100. There are clearly good and bad points of the Ohio law, but Senator Tavares is hopeful it will pass. There has been no time frame for voting on the proposed bill or when it would go into affect.