(CN) – A Kansas City bartender was properly fined $50 for following orders to let patrons violate the city’s smoking ban, the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled.
Georgia Carlson challenged the $50 fine she incurred after the city health department conducted a “smoking audit” at J.C.’s Sports Bar.
The patrons extinguished their cigarettes, but Carlton told the inspector that she had been instructed to let the customers smoke. The inspector gave her a ticket, which she refused to sign.
The municipal and circuit courts both ruled that Carlson had violated the smoking ban. She appealed, arguing that only a police officer — not a health inspector — is allowed to issue a citation.
Judge Karen Mitchell disagreed and upheld the fine.
“Nowhere in (the law) does it specify that a police officer must, in all cases,” issue an ordinance violation notice,” Mitchell wrote.
“Kansas City police resources are undoubtedly unable to adequately enforce ordinances like the anti-smoking ordinance on a daily basis. Common sense dictates that the health inspectors be permitted to issue notices for such ordinance violations,” the judge added.