Police Will Focus on Education in First 30 Days of No-Smoking Ordinance

Rather than writing tickets, police will "educate and warn," especially in downtown core.


Boise officials said they won't be overly anxious to ticket anyone when the city's new anti-smoking ordinances go into effect on Monday, Jan. 2. Rather, they said, Boise Police will observe "a 30-day grace/education period, especially in the downtown core, during which they will generally not write tickets for violations but will educate and warn."

According to a statement from Mayor Dave Bieter's office, after the 30-day period, police will "base their response to citizen complaints on the individual situation. For instance, if the person extinguishes the cigarette prior to police arrival, no enforcement action will generally be taken. If the smoker persists after a warning, however, he or she may be cited. Active patrols for smoking violations will not be a priority, but officers will respond if dispatched."

The ordinances will ban smoking in all city bars and private clubs, near bus stops or other transit areas, on outdoor commercial patios, the Grove Plaza, on Eighth Street from Bannock to Main streets, or within 20 feet of any building owned by the city.

Smoking will also be banned in all public parks. Two designated areas of Ann Morrison and Julia Davis parks have been designated as smoking zones. You can see them here. Additionally, smoking will be allowed on the Warm Springs Golf Course.

Initially, the ordinance was written to allow for a designated smoking area on the Grove Plaza, outside of the Boise Centre, but the Capital City Development Corporation, which has the final say on the matter, has yet to take up the issue. It's expected to be addressed at its next meeting on Monday, Jan. 9.

According to the Mayor's Office, Boise Police officers are being trained on the elements of the new codes, enforcement philosophy, and how to handle unusual circumstances.