Ohio lawmakers aim to make it illegal to smoke in a vehicle with a child present. Offenders who are caught smoking in their cars with a child under the age of 6 present can be fined up to $500. The law would be considered a primary offense, in which an officer does not need to find another offense to pull you over, unlike a seatbelt violation, a secondary offense, in which an officer needs to find another reason to pull you over first.
Should the bill pass, Ohio will follow suit in several other states with similar laws, including Alabama, California, Vermont, and Virginia.
This bill was introduced in 2012, but lawmakers “had issues with the age limit” questioning whether or not drivers had to carry birth certificates to prove their child’s age. Ohio State Senator Charleta Tavares says “the only way to protect non-smokers from exposure to secondhand smoke indoors is to prevent all smoking in that indoor space.”
The bill does not currently include restrictions on vaporizers.