New law would have strict penalties for smokers who litter
POSTED: Monday, April 7, 2014 - 5:25pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 5:44am
BATON ROUGE (NBC33) — Tossing a cigarette butt out your window will cost you big time if state lawmakers approve a bill up for discussion at the capitol, in fact, it could also cost you your driver's license.
"I think people should be penalized for doing that they should know better," nonsmoker Eriel Alvarez told NBC33.
The proposed law calls for strict penalties.
"I don’t like the fact that people throw there cigg butts out," Jim MaChirter said, who is also a nonsmoker.
Even some smokers can't stand the fact that people are careless when it comes to cigarettes.
“They are everywhere I mean everywhere you go there are cigg butts all over the ground, gas stations, the parks, everywhere,” said smoker Tonette Milton.
You could get your license suspended if you're busted three times.
But each offense would cost you.
A first offense would cost you three hundred dollars and eight hours of community service.
Get busted twice, and the fine goes up to $700 with 16 hours of community service.
A third conviction would cost you a $1,500 fine, 80 hours of community service, and your driver's license.
“It seems a little extreme I‘m all in favor of keeping the city clean but a little extreme in the amount of the fine. That's kind of high but something needs to be done, its not a good thing throwing cigarette butts out its nasty," MaChirter said.
Some nonsmokers were surprised to hear about the steep consequences for tossing your butt on the ground.
“Don’t get me wrong soon they will be charging us for breathing oxygen so its not surprising the city will find a way to make money here and there,” Alvarez said.
Smokers and nonsmokers alike seem to agree: littering is littering.
“I think we should be fined because its littering no matter what it is whether its a (cigarette) butt or a piece of paper,” Milton said.
This bill passed through the house floor with a 95 to one vote.
Representative Patrick Connick (R) of Marreo said "I hope you understand that littering is a big problem in our state and this legislation will help that,” during today’s legislative session
Lawmakers are discussing several bills right now that impact smokers, including one that prohibits smoking near state and federal buildings.