Smoking ban has yet to be enforced

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – A quick look at Mulligan's and you know it's following the rules. There's a completely separate room for non-smokers and an extensive ventilation system. But just down the road in Chesterfield, one restaurant isn't letting the law dictate its business.


"I wasn't going to stop my customers and I wasn't going to lose business," said Caddy's owner Judy Maxie.

She's not moving smokers to a separate area. Instead non-smokers will lounge on the patio, once it is converted into a room.

"I know that the health inspector is probably going to come pay me a visit, and I'm ready for him when he comes," said Maxie.

Judy Maxie says paying the $25 fine for allowing all the smoke is a small price to pay.

"My smoking crowd is probably 90-95% of my clientele," she said.

Mulligan's has it's fair share of smokers, but owner Chris LaTora says the law's the law. It's still unclear how it will be enforced. Right now, police departments like Chesterfield are waiting for the state's instructions. Health departments will enforce the rules during inspections.

Melissa Correa: "Do you think it's going to be easily enforced?"
Chris LaTora: "No."

Chris says he's heard people make comments similar to Judy's.

"The expression was that it's only $25; they can come in here everyday," said Chris.

Day two of the ban and Chesterfield police have yet to write a citation. Judy says the enclosed patio should be ready by the time tickets are handed out. Mulligan's is ready now.

Chris LaTora: "So if you want to smoke, come on to Mulligan's."
Melissa Correa: "Just this side only please." 
Chris LaTora: "Exactly!"

If you have a complaint about illegal smoking you should call your police and health departments.

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