The Iowa Attorney General’s office is seeking to pull the liquor license of a bar that’s allegedly failing to comply with the two-month old state smoking ban.
Bob Brammer, a spokesman for the Iowa Attorney General’s office, says they allege that "Otis Campbell’s Bar & Grill" in West Burlington has "repeatedly, and perhaps intentionally, violated Iowa’s Smokefree Air Act" and they’re asking the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division to either suspend or revoke the bar’s liquor license.
Brammer says it’s the first case under the new law, and a hearing has been set on the case for September 29th. Brammer says there were numerous reports of illegal smoking at the bar. He says the Department of Public Health received 48 complaints from July second when the law took effect, until early August.
Brammer says there may have been more complaints since that time, and those were only the public complaints. He says Burlington Police reported other violations of the law. Brammer says offers saw people openly smoking at the bar, ashtrays, failure to have no-smoking signs, and employees taking no action to remedy the violations.
"Our allegation is that that is sufficient ground for the suspension of the bar’s liquor license," Brammer says. Brammer says there are "several" other bars under review for possible action. The Health Department sent out a news release today saying they’ve received more than 4,300 calls and e-mails on the new law and fewer than 1,000 have been complaints about potential violations of the law.
The department says only six complaints have resulted in a visit by law enforcement. I.D.P.H. director Tom Newton issued a statement saying, "These figures reflect just how effective education has been in enforcing this new law. There are a limited number of cases, however, where we have had to move beyond education in our enforcement efforts."