How Having Tinted Windows Led to Drug Charges
A Florida man was recently sentenced to 7 years in prison and fined $100,000 for trafficking methamphetamine. How did he get caught? He was a passenger in a car that had tinted windows.
Florida’s Law on Window Tinting
With the harsh Florida sun beating down on drivers while they travel through the state, many might opt to have their windows tinted. Not only does it add a level of protection from the sun, but it also provides a sense of security, as others aren’t able to see into the vehicle.
However, while some amount of tint on a window is okay, if it’s too dark, a driver could be cited for a noncriminal traffic violation. Tinting isn’t the only material the law limits. Unless it meets the requirements of the sunscreening statutes, window coverings on vehicles should not make the windows nontransparent, change their color, or increase reflectiveness.
The laws concerning coverings differ depending on which windows they’re on:
Windshields: Cannot have any tinting material on them. The exception is if it is a single strip along the top of the window and does not block the driver’s view of the road. The strip must be transparent and must be above the AS/1 portion as defined by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards No. 205.
Back windows: Coverings on the back windows can have a total solar reflectance of not more than 35% or a light transmittance of at least 6%.
Driver’s side windows: Windows on or adjacent to the driver’s side must have a visible light transmittance of at least 28% or a reflectiveness of not more than 25%.
In the case of the Florida man who was charged with drug trafficking, a police officer saw that the vehicle the man was traveling in had window tint above the legal limits. When the officer pulled over the driver, the man got out of the car but did not comply with the orders he was given.
Allegedly, the man struggled with the officer and put his hands down his pants. The officer eventually had to use a Taser on him to take him into custody. Officers searched him after he was arrested and found methamphetamine in his pants and a marijuana joint in the vehicle.
While the man was charged with drug trafficking, the driver of the vehicle only received warnings for the window tint and not being properly restrained in the car.
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