Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–1721.02. Sale of tobacco to persons under 21 years of age.

(a) No person shall sell, give, or furnish any tobacco product to, or purchase any tobacco product on behalf of, any person under 21 years of age.

(b)(1) Any person who sells any tobacco product and who has reasonable cause to believe that a person who attempts to purchase the product is under 30 years of age shall require that the purchaser present identification that indicates his or her age.

(2) It shall be an affirmative defense to a violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection that, at the time of the relevant sale, the person who attempted to purchase the product was 21 years of age or older, or presented identification to the seller that a reasonably prudent person would believe to be valid under the same or similar circumstances.

(c) Any person who violates subsection (a) or (b) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $500 or less than $100, imprisoned not more than 30 days, or both, for the first offense. Any person convicted of a subsequent violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be fined not more than $1,000 or less than $500, imprisoned not more than 90 days, or both.

(d) Any license to sell tobacco products issued pursuant to § 47-2404 may be suspended for a first or second violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this section. The license shall be revoked for a third or subsequent violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this section.

(e)(1) In any place or business where a person sells any tobacco product, the owner, manager, or person in charge of the place or business shall post a warning sign that includes the following: "No tobacco product will be sold to any person under 21 years of age. Sales clerks will ask for proof of age from any person seeking to purchase any tobacco product who appears to be under 30 years of age."

(2) A sign posted pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection shall clearly state the maximum fine for a violation of this section. The sign shall be visible to the public at the entrance to the area and on the interior of the area in sufficient number to give notice of the law to the public.

(f) Notwithstanding section 1004 of Title 1 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (1 DCMR § 1004), the Mayor shall collect and maintain a publicly available record of violations under subsection (a) of this section, including:

(1) The date of the violation; and

(2) The location where the citation was given.


(Feb. 7, 1891, 26 Stat. 736, ch. 117; May 2, 1991, D.C. Law 8-262, § 3, 37 DCR 8434; designated as § 3, July 23, 2010, D.C. Law 18-189, § 3(a), (c), 57 DCR 3019; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 52(b)(1), 59 DCR 6190; Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-191, § 2(b), 63 DCR 15003.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 22-1320.

1981 Ed., § 22-1120.

1973 Ed., § 22-1120.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-1721.07 and § 22-1320.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-189 rewrote subsecs. (a), (b), and (e)(1); and added subsec. (f).

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-171 substituted “ section 1004 of Title 1 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations ( 1 DCMR § 1004)” for “ section 1-1004 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations” in the introductory language of (f).

Cross References

Cigarette tax, license suspension, see § 47-2404.

Applicability

Section 7021 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed section 5 of D.C. Law 21-191 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the amendments of this section by D.C. Law 21-191 have been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-191: § 5 of D.C. Law 21-191 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(b) of D.C. Law 21-191 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.