Restaurant owners file motion against smoking ban
KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) -- Four restaurant owners cited for violating the city' s smoking ordinance filed a court motion asking a judge to declare the measure unconstitutional.
Kenosha attorney Terry Rose, who filed the motion Monday on behalf of the restaurant owners, argued the smoking ordinance violates the 14th Amendment because it applies to some restaurants but not to others.
" This is irrational, " Rose wrote of the ordinance.
The law allows smoking at full-service bars and adjacent areas in businesses where more than 33 percent of the sales are alcoholic drinks.
He said the ordinance encourages restaurants where sales from liquor exceed 33 percent.
" You' ve got to put people on a level playing field, " Rose said. " My clients have no problem complying with a smoking ordinance if it applies to everyone."
Restaurants receiving citations last week were Felicia' s, Marina Garden Restaurant, Phoenix Restaurant and Lynch' s on 75th.
" We think the ordinance is constitutional and certainly defensible, " said Patrick Sheehan, assistant city attorney.
A hearing on the issue is set for Feb. 12.
Rose said the ordinance, which took effect last month, was " poorly drafted."
A City Council committee reviewed the ordinance Monday night and asked the city' s attorney and health inspectors to work out its glitches. They were asked to return with suggested revisions in a month.