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Smith Working On Bills Regarding DUIs, Vaping

Rep. Frank Smith, D-Poplar, is working to pass House Bill 330 that would provide state recognition for the Northern Tribes DUI Task Force.

The bill originally carried an appropriation of $150,000 from the general fund, but amendments are taking place to reduce the price tag.

“I’ve gotten it modified so much. We brought down the price quite a bit,” Smith said.

Smith noted that both the Fort Peck Community College and counties want the legislation to be successful.

“We have so many accidents up there,” Smith said. “The county wants to keep track of the DUI activity.”

According to the proposal, to receive state recognition: The Northern Tribes DUI Task Force must have members representing each of the participating tribal governments, shall study the problem of alcohol- related traffic accidents and develop and recommend a program to prevent DUIs and reduce alcohol-related traffic accidents.

Smith is also working to revise tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor product laws.

“We have so many kids who are vaping,” Smith said.

He aims to prohibit vaping sales to people under the age of 18, but admits that it won’t completely eliminate the problem.

“If you go to the bathroom at ballgames, you can smell the metal,” Smith said of the problem among students.

Smith said he was disappointed during debate about where to use surplus funds. He feels that money for senior health care and nursing homes should be a priority.

“What gets me is we have so many senior centers going broke,” Smith said. “We should be worried aboutourotherpeoplerather than our own pocketbooks.”

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