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Fines set for tobacco sales violations

A new bond schedule for violations of a city ordinance that prohibits tobacco sales to minors was approved by the Hudson City Council at its May 3 meeting.

Municipal Judge Susan Gherty, who set the forfeiture amounts, presented them to the council for its approval.

Gherty explained that a bond schedule wasn't attached to City Code Section 225-11 when the council adopted it in 2003. Under state law, the municipal judge establishes the bond schedule, but it is subject to council approval.

Section 225-11 applies to retailers. It prohibits sales or gifts of tobacco to people younger than 18. Businesses are required to post signs saying that the purchase of tobacco by minors is illegal.

The ordinance also bans cigarette vending machines from businesses that people younger than 18 can enter without being accompanied by a parent or guardian. And it prohibits the placement of cigarette vending machines within 500 feet of a school, and requires that cigarette packages bear a state tax stamp.

The forfeiture for selling tobacco to a minor is $200, but the fine increases to $288 when court costs and crime lab and jail fees are included. Businesses that sell cigarettes without tax stamps or that place cigarette vending machines within 500 feet of a school also are subject to a forfeiture and fees totaling $288.

The total penalty (forfeiture and fees) for not posting a notice that tobacco sales to minors are illegal is $102.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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