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Painter given £30 fine for smoking in his van

Date: 04 August 2008

A painter has been issued with a £30 fine for smoking in his van in Wales.

Gordon Williams was pulled over by officials from Ceredigion Council and issued with the on-the-spot penalty in July. He was driving his un-liveried Suzuki Carrier near his home in Aberystwyth at the time.

Williams claimed the vehicle is only insured for private use and he wasn't working at the time. He was quoted in the national press as saying: "It's not my place of work - I decorate houses not vans. I appreciate a driver of a coach or a bus can't smoke at the wheel because that is the law of the land. Of course there are tools and things in the van but a barrister would carry about documents in a briefcase in his own car - this is no different to my mind."

Williams is to contest the fine, which is not the first to be issued in Wales using no-smoking legislation. Conwy Council fined a driver £50 in July 2007.