[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Riverton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 10-8-1998 by Ord. No. 10-98]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided that it shall be liberally construed for the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Borough of Riverton.
No person under the age of 18 shall purchase or, within or upon any public place or area, use cigarettes or other tobacco products within the Borough of Riverton.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- PUBLIC PLACE
- Any place or area to which the public is invited or upon which the public is permitted, including but not limited to any sidewalk, street or any other right-of-way, park, playground and any other property owned by the borough, any mall or shopping enter, including business, industrial and commercial properties and any school property.
- TOBACCO PRODUCT
- Any product made from the tobacco plant for the purpose of smoking, chewing, inhaling or other personal use, including cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, snuff and cigarettes in any form.
It shall be unlawful for a parent or guardian having legal custody of a juvenile knowingly to permit or by inefficient control to allow the juvenile to purchase or use cigarettes or other tobacco products in any public place. The term "knowingly" includes knowledge which a parent should reasonably be expected to have concerning the purchase or use of cigarettes or other tobacco products by a juvenile in that parent's legal custody. It is intended to hold parents and guardians to a reasonable community standard of parental responsibility through an objective test. It shall, therefore, be no defense that a parent was inattentive or indifferent to the activities or conduct of such juvenile.
If a police officer reasonably believes that a juvenile is purchasing or using cigarettes or other tobacco products in a public place in violation of this chapter, the officer shall so advise the juvenile and take the juvenile into custody. The juvenile shall then provide his or her name, age, address and telephone number and advise the officer where and how to contact his or her parent or guardian. The juvenile shall then be taken to the police station where a parent or guardian shall immediately be notified to come and take custody of the juvenile.
If the parent or guardian cannot be located or fails to take custody of the juvenile, then the juvenile shall be released to the juvenile authorities or, in appropriate cases, may be temporarily entrusted to an adult neighbor or other person who will, on behalf of a parent or guardian, assume responsibility for the juvenile.
In the absence of documentary evidence, a police officer may use his or her best judgment in determining age.
Within 24 hours of the violation, the police officer who took the juvenile into custody shall file a written report, in a form to be prescribed by the Chief of Police, with the office of the Chief.
In the case of a first violation, the Chief of Police or his designee shall, by certified mail, send to the parent or guardian written notice of the violation. The notice shall advise the parent or guardian of his or her right to contest the charge in Municipal Court and that the failure to contest the charge will be deemed an admission by the parent or guardian that the violation occurred. The notice will further advise the parent or guardian that there are no penalties for first offenses but that a subsequent violation by the juvenile will result in the imposition of monetary penalties upon the parent or guardian. This notice shall be deemed received upon mailing.
If, after the parent or guardian receives the notice pursuant to § 117-4 of this article, the juvenile violates this chapter a second time, this shall be treated as a first offense by the parent. Upon a finding of parental culpability for the first parental offense, a parent shall be subject to a fine of $50. For each subsequent offense by a parent, the parent shall be subject to a fine as follows:
The penalty for each offense thereafter shall not be less than $500 and not more than $1,000.