Opponents challenge Arlington smoking ban in court

Arlington's new smoking ordinance is on hold for now, after a group of business owners filed a lawsuit to stop its enforcement.

The ordinance, approved last month, bans smoking from nearly all public places including outdoor seating at bars and restaurants.

There have been some hard knocks between the city and businesses who believe a new smoking ordinance will make it a struggle to stay in business.

"I'm walking into a place that's over 21 I want to smoke I know there's going to be smoke in there, who's anybody else to stop me,” said opposition attorney Warren Norred.

Opponents call themselves the Dream City Coalition and they and the city have agreed to an injunction until July 26.

Opponents say what's wrong is the ordinance bans smoking in places like pools halls and bars but favors bingo parlors and it's retroactive.

“The city says, ah, I know we made this deal, let you operate if you follow the rules, we're gonna change the rules and you're never gonna make your money back probably go out of business."<<

Opponents are fighting for a full injunction to break the new ordinance. They know any victories in court will likely be countered by the city with modifications or adjustments to the ordinance to keep it in place. Opponents dream of gaining enough ground to keep them in business with smoking allowed.

“You could change the law so Arlington is 100% smoke free for public property but doesn't impact private property,” Norred said.