District judge rejects smoking ban; impact unclear | SummitDaily.com

District judge rejects smoking ban; impact unclear

BRIGHTON ” An Adams County Court judge has declared the state’s smoking ban unconstitutional, but the impact of the ruling wasn’t immediately clear.

Judge Robert Doyle issued the ruling last week in a summons accusing the manager of the Oasis Cabaret in Brighton of allowing smoking in violation of the ban.

Adams County District Attorney Don Quick said Wednesday he would appeal.

Doyle said the ban violated the due-process rights of bar owners because it did not allow them an opportunity to establish their businesses as cigar bars, which are exempt from the ban.

It was at least the third court ruling on the ban since it went into effect on July 1.

A federal judge has said the Legislature has the right to decide where smoking is forbidden and where it is allowed, and a La Plata County district judge ruled the ban was not clear on what it takes to qualify for the cigar-bar exemption.

Quick said the contradictory rulings may force the state Supreme Court to step in.

Bonnie Ferguson of the Coalition for Equal Rights, a group of bar owners formed to challenge the smoking ban, welcomed the ruling.

“There are quite a few bars that have gotten tickets (for allowing smoking), and they’re going to stand up and really start fighting it,” she said.

Lawmakers have been weighing a range of measures to clarify or expand the smoking ban.

In its current form, the ban prohibits smoking in public places except casinos, some airport lounges and cigar bars.

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