Vice Squad
Friday, August 13, 2004
Smoke in Front of Your Kids, Go to Jail

And not just in theory, according to this AP article at
A Caroline County [Virginia] woman was sentenced to 10 days in jail yesterday for defying a court order not to smoke around her daughter and son.

Tamara Silvius, 44, was handcuffed and led out of the courtroom by deputies, The Associated Press reported. Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Judge John H. Thomas said Silvius could post a $500 bond while she appeals his ruling.

Thomas last August barred Silvius from smoking around the children, now ages 8 and 10, as part of her shared-custody arrangement with her ex-husband. She violated the order during a trip to South Carolina for Thanksgiving when she taped plastic inside her car to keep the smoke from reaching her children.
Now maybe these kids, ages 8 and 10, have some special condition such that environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) really poses a threat to them -- though no evidence on that score is provided in the article. And of course, the mom is being jailed for violating a court order, and that is what happens when you violate a court order. But should a smoking ban -- that in the end, will be enforced by these sorts of measures -- really be part of shared-custody agreements, absent some very special physical susceptibilities to ETS? Are the risks to the kids from ETS any greater than the risk they face if their dad, say, occasionally drives over the speed limit?

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