Court rules against Ohio bar in smoking ban case

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Officials seeking to enforce the workplace smoking ban approved by Ohio voters have been handed a victory by a state appeals court.

The court this week reversed a judge's earlier ruling to throw out smoking law violations against a Columbus bar that resulted in more than $33,000 in fines.

The judge had said the Ohio Department of Health exceeded its authority by holding Zeno's Victorian Village responsible for the actions of its patrons. In Tuesday's decision, the appeals court in Columbus found "overwhelming" evidence that the bar's owners repeatedly and intentionally violated the law.

An attorney representing the bar says the court is legally incorrect and says a further appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court is planned.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)