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Man Jailed in Texas for Smoking in Public

Date posted: April 5, 2007

Brian Wayne Hendrix has been put in jail in Abilene, Texas because he was smoking in public. Mr. Hendrix was smoking in a bar when he was given a citation for “smoking in public”, defying a city ordinance that banned smoking in public. He was given ticket on February 24, 2007, and is the first person in Abilene, Texas arrested on a warrant for smoking in a public place.

According to reports, he had ten days to appear in court to contest the charge or to pay the ticket, which totaled $150.

After failing to appear in court, essentially ignoring the fine given to him, a warrant was issued for Brian Wayne Hendrix’s arrest. He was subsequently picked up later and put in jail. Mr. Hendrix was released from the Taylor County Jail after posting $150 bond.

According to a Dallas Morning News report:

“I never thought I’d be going to jail for smoking a cigarette, but I’d do it again,” said Hendrix, who was released from the Taylor County Jail after posting $150 bond Tuesday afternoon.

The city’s smoking ban that went into effect Jan. 3 prohibits smoking in most public places and businesses. Hendrix is the first person in Abilene to be arrested on a warrant for smoking in a public place, Assistant Police Chief Mark Moore said.

“If we go to a place where there are a lot of people smoking with no regard to the smoking ban ordinance, we will enforce it,” Moore said. “As long as it’s law, we ask that they comply.”

Teresa Borcik, Municipal Court administrator, said Hendrix was cited for smoking in a public place — a bar — on Feb. 24 and had 10 days to appear in court to contest the charge or to pay the $150 ticket. When he didn’t show up, an arrest warrant was issued March 6, she said.

You would have thought that something like this would happen elsewhere, but in Texas?

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