Gov. Chris Christie issued a conditional veto to a bill that would have banned smoking at all public parks, beaches, and other outdoor sites. Christie’s veto leaves intact the ban on state-owned property, but leaves it up to counties and local communities to decide whether or not to allow smoking in their public spaces.
Christie said the smoking ban was an “inappropriate encroachment by the state into an area of public policy properly reserved for local governments.” He further explained that a statewide ban would have placed undue burden on towns as it would have required them to put up new no smoking signs at their own expense, even if they already had partial or conditional bans in place.
The proposed bill would have allowed towns to set aside up to 15% of public beaches for smoking, provided they were not near a designated children’s area. Legislators can vote to accept Christie’s revision or attempt to override it. Christie has never had a veto overturned during his tenure as governor.
New Jersey was the 11th state to ban smoking at indoor public places, which includes restaurants and bars, and the state also bans smoking in cars with children. These laws also apply to e-cigarettes. Fines for violating state, county, or community smoking bans vary, but are typically around $250 for the first offense.
If you or a loved one has been cited for smoking in public or for any other criminal offense in New Jersey, you need a skilled attorney to help fight the charges. Adam H. Rosenblum of the Rosenblum Law Firm is a criminal defense attorney with experience helping people in similar situations. Email the Rosenblum Law Firm or call 888-979-7551 today for a free consultation about your case.