Eau Claire (WQOW)- No one likes looking at butts, especially cigarette butts being tossed out of the window. Now, North Dakota state officials are cracking down to put a stop to it. Here in Wisconsin, many of those rules already apply.
Starting on August 1, the fine for littering in North Dakota will increase by 400 percent, going from $100 to $500, including cigarettes.
In Wisconsin, state statute calls for a fine that typically ranges from $200 to $400. If an item is especially large, that can go up to $1,000. Since 2015, officers have been able to pull drivers over for littering, including throwing cigarette butts out the window.
On Tuesday, Eau Claire police said they have only issued a handful of citations over the last two years. The department's main goal is to give out warnings and educate the community about the rules.
"I think it is definitely a community issue. We all want Eau Claire to be clean and a safe place for everybody to live. So, although we're out there and enforcing and educating the public, we also have wonderful community partners that are out there cleaning, cleaning messes up that haven't gotten caught," said Officer Bridget Coit, with the Eau Claire Police Department.
Police said the city has an ordinance that also applies to leaving things out on streets or sidewalks or illegally dumped somewhere, like a dumpster the person doesn't own. The department said they receive, and encourage, dumping complaints, and police do investigate complaints when they come in.