Smokers have just a few more days to light up in restaurants and bars in Colorado before the state smoking ban takes effect. Ashtrays come off the tables Saturday, and those who ignore the ban could face a hefty fine. The fine for violating the no-smoking law is $200.00 dollars for first time offenders, $300.00 for second offenses, and $500.00 dollars after that if it's within the same year.
To report violators, police say anyone, including restaurant employees and customers can call the police non-emergency line at 444-7000-- just not 911.
However, as is the case with many new state laws, police will only hand out warnings for the first 60 days.
"It's an educational period," said Colorado Springs Police Lt. Rafael Cintron. "We want our citizens to be fully aware of not only the state law but also the penalties attached to it."
Cintron says until September 1, only those who refuse to put out their cigarettes will be fined.