Wording in the S.C. Supreme Court decision upholding the City of Greenville’s smoking ban has led the City of Charleston to cut back penalties for violating the local smoking ban. The new fines will run between $10 and $25 per day.
When approved last year, the Charleston ban came with an up to $1,087 fine and possible jail time. The court’s decision in the Greenville case hinged on the Upstate community’s lax penalties.
We have observed that this subsection of the Constitution requires “statewide uniformity” regarding the criminal law of this State, and therefore, “local governments may not criminalize conduct that is legal under a statewide criminal law.” …
While the ordinance in this case does make smoking in certain areas “unlawful” where the Clean Indoor Air Act does not, it is our opinon that Ordinance does not criminalize such behavior.
Before you bar owners start opening the doors and taking the $25 hit, the ordinance also suggests businesses who perpetually abuse the ban could lose their business license.