ASK A COP — Some exceptions to new tobacco law

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Charles from Nederland asks: Officer Antoine thanks for this article, I find it very informative on a subject I partake in daily (driving). My question today isn’t so much about driving but I need a better understanding about tobacco use law for minors in Texas. It is my understanding that NO one under the age of 21 can purchase or possess any tobacco products. Well recently I was with a family member that’s 19-years-old and we went to a store and I’ll be darn if he didn’t get some cigarettes! Of course my jaw is on the ground by now and he says all he do is give them his I.D and it’s OK. Officer Antoine is there not a law for tobacco products for minors in Texas or store just not abiding by the state of Texas law?

Answer: Good question Charles! I surely can understand your confusion with the Texas minor tobacco law that wet into effect on 9/01/19. Charles there are exemptions to this law and it appears that your family member fits into this exemption. I know it seemed law on 09/01/19 anyone under 21 will be prohibited from purchasing or using tobacco products in Texas … WRONG! If you turned 18 on or before 08/31/19 you are exempt from this new tobacco law if you are a resident of Texas. Also if you are a member of any branch of the U.S Military you are also exempt from the new tobacco law. Now any non-Texas residents under the age of 21 and not a member of our Armed Forces will NOT be allowed to purchase nor possess any tobacco products in Texas. Hope this cleared this matter for you.

Tammie from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine I really enjoy the newspaper column and your radio show. Today I’m glad to say I’m a much better driver largely because of the ticket you gave me, which prompted me to read your column. Officer Antoine I observed something that has my eyebrows raised and left me scratching my head. I see this huge truck park ad cover 2 1/2 parking spots at Lowe’s and out of the blue comes a police car. Now I’m sitting back getting ready for the officer to give a ticket to the driver because parking like that was totally wrong. To my surprise the officer just passed the truck like the parking violation didn’t exist. Officer Antoine is there a reason why the officer just passed the truck without addressing the parking violation?

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Answer: Good question Tammie – It’s not my practice to answer for another officer’s action, especially when I wasn’t there to witness the incident, but I’m comfortable and pretty certain answering this one. Tammie the answer to this is simply the parking violation that you described is NOT a parking violation. I know it seems as though it should be but in Texas it’s not. That’s the reason I’m sure why the officer just passed by without addressing the trucks parking situation. Texas police officers ONLY enforce disabled parking and fire zone violations in Texas. Now that doesn’t mean you’re completely “out of the woods” when it comes to taking up extra lanes in a private property lot. The manager of said establishment can call and have your vehicle towed at the owner’s expense. So bad parkers beware!!

R.M. from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, do Police Officers still cite drivers for driving with their high beams on? What’s done with drivers who have misaligned headlights that blind oncoming cars? It seems NOT! Are vehicle inspectors still checking headlight alignments during state inspection, and who’s inspecting what they do?

Answer: Good question R.M.! Oh R.M. headlight aiming was done away with a long, long, long time ago, like effective March 15, 1990. The headlight aim-testing requirement was removed from the state inspection. So that answers part of your question. No one is doing aim testing at inspections. R.M., Law Enforcement Officers can stop a driver of a motor vehicle with high beams on, and whatever legal action (citation/warning) they choose to give is up to the individual officer. The state of Texas Transportation Code states a motor vehicle cannot drive towards oncoming vehicles within 500 feet (1 and 1/2 city blocks) or within 300 feet (city block) the rear of a vehicle with high beams “bright lights” activated!

Join Officer Antoine and (Da Krew) for Ask A Cop Live, on KSAP 96.9 FM, “The Breeze” radio station, every Tuesday from 1 to 2 p.m. You can also tune in via internet at Feel free to call in and ask your question live to Officer Antoine at (409) 982-0247.

Email your questions to or call 409-983-8673 and leave a message or voice mail question, or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public you can Ask A Cop!