Cars with tinted windows can run afoul of state laws - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Cars with tinted windows can run afoul of state laws

Updated:
Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office PIO Eric Becnel demonstrates a tint meter on a windshield. Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office PIO Eric Becnel demonstrates a tint meter on a windshield.

NEW ORLEANS - Vehicles rolling on area roadways come in all shapes and sizes. By law, they should have valid brake tags. But in some areas, vehicles with tinted windows could have trouble passing the annual inspection.

"The reading on this meter is 28-percent," said Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Eric Becnel during a demonstration on a tinted car windshield.

Becnel was one of many law enforcement officers who attended a special seminar on tinted windows Tuesday at the Belle Chasse library. The three-day seminar, taught by Brian Chase with Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Services and Consulting, was designed to teach police about the laws that apply to window tint.

"You want to be able to articulate how the meter works," Chase said.

The darkness of tint is measured by the percentage of visible light transmission. State law requires light to be at least 40 percent on the two front side windows. Legal limits for tinting materials for rear side windows is 25 percent and no less than 12 percent for the rear windshield.

"That is the light transmission - that's how much light is going through there," said Becnel.

"The front windshield cannot be tinted at all," said State Trooper Melissa Matey.

The exception is a tiny sliver of the upper front windshield near the roof.

"It can be tinted up to 5 inches from the top of the car," Matey said.

State police said dark tint can put law enforcement at risk.

"Let's use the example that it's already dark, we don't have adequate lighting in that traffic stop area, we can't see into the car, we have no idea how many people are in that vehicle or if they're reaching for a weapon," said Matey.

And State Police said when it comes to safety issues, it runs both ways.

"Once you get into having dark tint, you may not be able to see if a small child runs out in front of you, or something along those lines - if it's on the side of your vehicle, if your windows are too dark," Matey said.

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