Economy
4:12 pm
Mon April 18, 2011

Judge rules in favor of Michigan's smoking ban (but legal fight will probably continue)

A Macomb County judge has upheld the constitutionality of Michigan’s smoking ban.   But, the ruling will likely not be the last word.   Michigan bar and restaurant owners say they have lost millions of dollars in business since the smoking ban took effect last May.   

The owner of Sporty O’Toole’s, a Macomb County bar, took his fight to court, after he was fined for allowing his patrons to smoke.  A circuit court judge threw out the fine, but also ruled the law is constitutional.  

Attorney Theodore Andris represents the owner of Sporty O’Toole’s.    Andris says the legal fight is not over.  He says they haven’t decided whether to appeal to a higher court.  Andris says the legislature may also be persuaded to rethink the smoking ban. 

“If he had ruled in our favor….that would have prompted the legislature to act on it own.     Now it will take prompting from us to the legislators.”  

A Macomb County health department spokesman says the judge’s ruling means businesses will have to take the smoking ban law seriously.  

The smoking ban is intended to reduce second hand smoke.