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Monday, April 22, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Illinois Smokers Can’t Be Criminally Prosecuted

(CN) - Smokers can't be criminally prosecuted for violating the Smoke Free Illinois Act, an Illinois appeals court ruled.

Kathleen Kane got a ticket for smoking at Woody's Tavern in Will County, Ill. She was convicted and sentenced to six months of court supervision and had to pay a $231 fine.

She appealed the denial of her post-trial motion challenging the constitutionality of the Act and her prosecution in criminal courts.

Judge Daniel Schmidt of the Third District Court of Appeals agreed with Kane and reversed her conviction.

"Our review of the Smoke Free Act requires us to find, as defendant requests, that the State may not prosecute violations of the Smoke Free Act through criminal proceedings in the circuit courts," Schmidt wrote.

"Reading the Smoke Free Act as a whole, it is clear that the Legislature intended violations of the Smoke Free Act to be enforced administratively, not in criminal proceedings," the judge added.

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