Smokers beware. If you're smoking while driving, do not toss your butts out the window. Tossing cigarette butts out the window could lead to some trouble with the law. One of our co-workers learned the hard way. WWAY traffic manager Brenda Covey is on notice. Her crime: being a litterbug. "I could get a citation if I get reported doing it again," said Covey. A few months ago someone spotted Covey tossing a cigarette out of her car window. She didn't realize it was a crime until she received a warning letter from the State Department of Transportation. Another infraction could cost her up to $1,000. Covey said, "I've never thrown trash out of my car, but I guess I've never looked at the cigarette the same as the trash, but it literally is." Highway Patrol First Sgt. J.O. Holmes said, "It's no different than throwing a piece of paper, or a fast food wrapper out the window." Holmes said cigarette butts are discarded too casually. According to anti-litter group Keep America Beautiful, smokers across the country generate 4.5 trillion butts each year. "It's a very hard law for us to enforce because obviously if someone sees a law enforcement vehicle -- beside them or behind them -- they're not going to do anything," said Holmes. Some citizens are taking the law into their own hands. Covey said the letter set her straight. "I admit that I did wrong. Since then I do have an ashtray in my car where you put your little butts out. So I do not do it anymore," said Covey. The Department of Transportation wants everyone to help keep the roads clean. If you see someone littering -- cigarettes or otherwise -- report it at the DOT's website.
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