2021 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 63. Public Health and Safety
§63-1-229.13. Furnishing of tobacco or vapor products to persons under 21 prohibited – Proof of age – Fines – Liability.

A. It is unlawful for any person to sell, give or furnish in any manner any tobacco product, nicotine product or vapor product to another person who is under twenty-one (21) years of age, or to purchase in any manner a tobacco product, nicotine product or vapor product on behalf of any such person. It shall not be unlawful for an employee under twenty-one (21) years of age to handle tobacco products, nicotine products or vapor products when required in the performance of the employee's duties.

B. A person engaged in the sale or distribution of tobacco products, nicotine products or vapor products shall demand proof of age from a prospective purchaser or recipient if an ordinary person would conclude on the basis of appearance that the prospective purchaser may be under twenty-one (21) years of age.

If an individual engaged in the sale or distribution of tobacco products, nicotine products or vapor products has demanded proof of age from a prospective purchaser or recipient who is not under twenty-one (21) years of age, the failure to subsequently require proof of age shall not constitute a violation of this subsection.

C. 1. When a person violates subsection A or B of this section, the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement (ABLE) Commission shall impose an administrative fine of:

  • a.not more than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) for the first offense,
  • b.not more than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) for the second offense within a two-year period following the first offense,
  • c.not more than Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) for a third offense within a two-year period following the first offense. In addition to any other penalty, the store's license to sell tobacco products or nicotine products or the store's sales tax permit for a store that is predominantly engaged in the sale of vapor products in which the sale of other products is merely incidental may be suspended for a period not exceeding thirty (30) days, or
  • d.not more than Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) for a fourth or subsequent offense within a two-year period following the first offense. In addition to any other penalty, the store's license to sell tobacco products or nicotine products or the store's sales tax permit for a store that is predominantly engaged in the sale of vapor products in which the sale of other products is merely incidental may be suspended for a period not exceeding sixty (60) days.

2. When it has been determined that a penalty shall include a license or permit suspension, the ABLE Commission shall notify the Oklahoma Tax Commission, and the Tax Commission shall suspend the store's license to sell tobacco products or nicotine products or the store's sales tax permit for a store that is predominantly engaged in the sale of vapor products in which the sale of other products is merely incidental at the location where the offense occurred for the period of time prescribed by the ABLE Commission.

3. Proof that the defendant demanded, was shown, and reasonably relied upon proof of age shall be a defense to any action brought pursuant to this section. A person cited for violating this section shall be deemed to have reasonably relied upon proof of age, and such person shall not be found guilty of the violation if such person proves that:

  • a.the individual who purchased or received the tobacco product, nicotine product or vapor product presented a driver license or other government-issued photo identification purporting to establish that such individual was twenty-one (21) years of age or older, or
  • b.the person cited for the violation confirmed the validity of the driver license or other government-issued photo identification presented by such individual by performing a transaction scan by means of a transaction scan device.

Provided, that this defense shall not relieve from liability any person cited for a violation of this section if the person failed to exercise reasonable diligence to determine whether the physical description and picture appearing on the driver license or other government-issued photo identification was that of the individual who presented it. The availability of the defense described in this subsection does not affect the availability of any other defense under any other provision of law.

D. If the sale is made by an employee of the owner of a store at which tobacco products, nicotine products or vapor products are sold at retail, the employee shall be guilty of the violation and shall be subject to the fine. Each violation by any employee of an owner of a store licensed to sell tobacco products or nicotine products or permitted to sell vapor products shall be deemed a violation against the owner for purposes of a license suspension pursuant to subsection C of this section. Each violation by an employee of a store predominantly engaged in the sale of vapor products in which the sale of other products is merely incidental shall be deemed a violation against the owner for purposes of a sales tax permit suspension pursuant to the provisions of subsection C of this section. An owner of a store licensed to sell tobacco products or nicotine products or permitted to sell vapor products shall not be deemed in violation of the provisions of the Prevention of Youth Access to Tobacco Act for any acts constituting a violation by any person, when the violation occurs prior to actual employment of the person by the storeowner or the violation occurs at a location other than the owner's retail store. For purposes of determining the liability of a person controlling franchises or business operations in multiple locations, for any violations of subsection A or B of this section, each individual franchise or business location shall be deemed a separate entity.

E. On or before December 15, 1997, the ABLE Commission shall adopt rules establishing a method of notification of storeowners when an employee of such storeowner has been determined to be in violation of this section by the ABLE Commission or convicted of a violation by a municipality.

F. 1. Upon failure of the employee to pay the administrative fine within ninety (90) days of the day of the assessment of such fine, the ABLE Commission shall notify the Department of Public Safety, and the Department shall suspend or not issue a driver license to the employee until proof of payment has been furnished to the Department of Public Safety.

2. Upon failure of a storeowner to pay the administrative fine within ninety (90) days of the assessment of the fine, the ABLE Commission shall notify the Tax Commission, and the Tax Commission shall suspend the store's license to sell tobacco products or nicotine products or the store's sales tax permit for a store that is predominantly engaged in the sale of vapor products in which the sale of other products is merely incidental until proof of payment has been furnished to the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

G. Cities and towns may enact and municipal police officers may enforce ordinances prohibiting and penalizing conduct under provisions of this section, but the provisions of municipal ordinances shall be the same as provided for in this section, and the penalty provisions under such ordinances shall not be more stringent than those of this section.

H. County sheriffs may enforce the provisions of the Prevention of Youth Access to Tobacco Act.

Added by Laws 1994, c. 137, § 4, eff. July 1, 1994. Amended by Laws 1996, c. 144, § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 1996; Laws 1997, c. 171, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1997; Laws 2000, c. 342, § 10, eff. July 1, 2000; Laws 2001, c. 5, § 12, emerg. eff. March 21, 2001; Laws 2004, c. 253, § 1, eff. July 1, 2004; Laws 2014, c. 162, § 4, eff. Nov. 1, 2014. Renumbered from § 600.3 of Title 37 by Laws 2016, c. 366, § 172, eff. Oct. 1, 2018. Amended by Laws 2020, c. 70, § 5, emerg. eff. May 19, 2020; Laws 2021, c. 554, § 5, emerg. eff. May 28, 2021.

NOTE: Laws 2000, c. 277, § 2 repealed by Laws 2001, c. 5, § 13, emerg. eff. March 21, 2001.

NOTE: Laws 2016, c. 366, was conditionally effective upon passage of State Question No. 792, Legislative Referendum No. 370, which was adopted at election held on Nov. 8, 2016.

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