Watertown’s “smoke shacks” brought up for discussion before city council (Audio)

February 16, 2021
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–South Dakota’s smoking ban has been in place since 2010, banning smoking from bars, restaurants and other indoor public spaces.

That led many business owners to create so-called “smoke shacks” on their property, where smokers could still legally light up.

Recently, the Watertown Police Department conducted compliance checks on those smoke shacks to determine if they fall within the bounds of the law.

Here’s what Asssistant Chief Tim Toomey told the City Council Tuesday night…

Toomey says the definition of what constitutes a violation is pretty clear…

Toomey says first-time violators will often get a warning, rather than a citation…

Councilman Bruce Buhler wondered if the $25 fine for a violation is steep enough…

City Attorney Matt Roby says the council could make the fine higher if they choose to…

The item was for discussion purposes only. No action was taken to change the current offense, which is a petty misdemeanor that carries a $25 fine.