In a first for Wayne County, the Copper Door bar in Westland was ordered closed Friday evening after an official with the health department saw a patron breaking the state’s year-old ban against smoking inside public buildings.
The bar was reopened Saturday. And so was the debate about the rights of business owners to enforce their own regulations.
Wayne County health officials insisted they weren’t picking on the bar, just enforcing the law.
“They have received several notices that people were complaining,” Wayne County Health Officer Loretta Davis said Monday. “They have received a phone call, at least two letters and a visit where an inspector issued a violation.”
Steve Mace, executive director of Private Property Rights Michigan, said he was working to arrange a meeting with an attorney and Copper Door owner Cindy Snider to explore her legal options.
“It’s about the fact that these people are being driven out of business,” Mace said, echoing critics of the ban. He said individuals should be cited, not bar and restaurant owners.
Snider said she was not at the bar when the health department official observed a patron smoking just before 7:30 p.m. But when she arrived nearly an hour later, she found her patrons gone, a citation for violating the smoking ban and a closure order for the bar.
“I was absolutely devastated,” Snider said. “My business is doing so badly due to this law. … I can’t even afford to pay the fine.”
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Personally I enjoy going out much more since the smoking ban went into affect, but my dad hates. How do you feel about the law? Do you go to bars more or less often now?
If you have a question about Michigan’s Tobacco Laws call Samantha Moffett at (248) 624-5500