Establishments charged with violating the Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act may also be jeopardizing their licenses to sell alcohol. Virginia law empowers the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to suspend or revoke the license of any establishment that does not conform to state health requirements, which include the Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act.
Recently in a large Northern Virginia locality, four establishments were charged with allowing patrons to smoke and were fined. These citations were the first reported in Virginia, and if the establishments are held to have violated the Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act, they could also face sanctions from the Virginia ABC Board.
Effective December 1, 2009, the Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act bans smoking in indoor restaurants and requires proprietors to take certain affirmative steps to stop patrons from smoking. Unless a restaurant falls within a narrow list of exceptions, it could be charged with violating a civil statute and face fines for allowing customers to smoke. While the current fines are nominal, such violations could empower the Virginia ABC Board to take action against ABC licenses.