ABILENE — One West Texas city is really serious about its smoking ban.
Just ask Brian Wayne Hendrix, who was arrested and jailed on an outstanding warrant for smoking in public. Hendrix, 44, said he was "flabbergasted" by the arrest, which came after an officer pulled him over Tuesday morning on a traffic stop.
"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.
Further in the article, it says that a warrant was issued when he didn't show up in court or pay the fine. Personally, I don't like for people to smoke in public places if the smoke can drift into my air space, since I have asthma, and I could see having someone pay a fine for violating a (reasonable) ordinance, but putting someone in jail for smoking in public???? That just seems outrageously extreme to me! That's way too "Big Brother-ish" for me. When you consider some of the real criminals running around loose and there often being a shortage of cops, it seems idiotic to me to have cops arresting people for smoking (tobacco) in public. IMO