After lots of back-and-forth, Ocean City decided to go smoke free this past summer. (Kind of.) So how did the beach’s first summer with smoking restrictions in place go?
Things were… anticlimactic, to put it mildly. By the end of the season, three people were cited for smoking violations. They paid a total of $150 in fines. But don’t be fooled by the very low number of fines issued; nearly a hundred times as many smoking violations were reported. But the Ocean City police purposefully kept enforcement light this year so people could get used to the new smoking ban. “We wanted the first year to be an educational year for our visitors,” Ocean City city councilmember Mary Knight said. “It’s like the mayor says, we have 300,000 new people each week to educate so we had the police officers handing out little cards on the first infraction that explained to people what the change in the law was. We never intended to be heavy handed this year.”
Next year, Knight said, the city will be less lenient on smokers.
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