Partners for Our Children

HB 2086 concerns smoking in motor vehicles carrying minors. The bill adds that a person who smokes a lighted pipe, cigar, or cigarette in a moving or parked motor vehicle carrying any persons under the age of eighteen years old is guilty of a traffic infraction. However, such infractions may not become part of the driver’s record. Additionally, a finding that a person committed a traffic infraction may not be made available to insurance companies or employers. The monetary penalty for violating the new section of this bill is $125 for the first violation and $250 for each violation thereafter.

Substitute bill: A traffic infraction is established for any person who smokes a pipe, cigar, or cigarette in a motor vehicle in which there are passengers who appear to be under 18 years old. It provides a defense to such an infraction if all passengers are over 18 years old. A person guilty of this infraction will be assessed a monetary penalty of $125 for the first violation, and a court or law enforcement officer may increase this penalty to $250 for the second and subsequent offenses. Additionally, such an infraction is not added to a driver’s record and is not made available to insurance companies or employers.

Law enforcement is limited to issuing only verbal warnings for an infraction until January 1, 2015. From that date through December 31, 2016, law enforcement may issue an infraction only as a secondary action, after the driver has been stopped for suspicion of another traffic offense. Finally, beginning January 1, 2017, law enforcement may stop drivers for a violation as a primary action.