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Drivers caught smoking with anyone under 18 in the car will be fined €100

NewsBy Morgan Flanagan Creagh
Drivers caught smoking with anyone under 18 in the car will be fined €100

New regulations which will ban smoking in cars with anyone under the age of 18 travelling as a passenger, will be revealed today, a year after the law was passed.

Adults found to be smoking in their car while kids are passengers will face a fine of €100, with the offence coming into effect in two weeks.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar and Minister for Children James Reilly will formally launch the ban today.

If the fine is not paid, the case can be brought to court - with hefty penalties.

The new rule sees anyone under the age of 18 as a child and will apply even if the smoker is themselves under 18-years of age.

The new rule states that the driver will be guilty of an offence even if the smoker is another adult passenger.

A defence exists where the person smoking reasonably believed that others present in the vehicle were over 18 years of age.

There are also defences for the driver if they can prove they were unable to stop the other person from smoking, because he or she did not wish to take any action which might compromise the safety of the passengers.

They can also argue they made all reasonable efforts to stop the other person smoking.

Gardaí will be allowed to ask the driver to stop the car, and demand the name and address of any person who may be committing an offence.

Where a person fails to stop the car, or to give a name and address, or provides false information, he or she will be guilty of an offence.