Scrapin the Coast
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bay St. Louis,Ms
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Here is a page discussing the issue. The $1,000 dollar fine and three months in jail sucks just for having your windows tinted.
Window tinting: Stricter guidelines hit July 1
Itawamba County Times - 2005-06-28 - Adam Armour
Itawamba County citizens with tinted vehicle windows will have to follow stricter guidelines due to a new Mississippi Tint Law going into effect July 1.
Vehicles with store bought, after factory, darkening material installed on their windows must now be taken to a participating Mississippi Vehicle Inspection Station and pass an inspection. Windows will be tested with a light meter, and those that do not allow a light transmittance of at least 35 percent will not pass the inspection and will have to have their tint removed.
According to the new law, all window tint inspections prior to July 1 will become null and void. This includes all inspections performed by the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, so drivers will have to seek out participating inspection stations or risk being stopped by state troopers.
The new law requires each window that passes inspection to have a certified decal number placed on it and the driver given a certificate of compliance listing these numbers.
If the decal numbers on the windows do not match the numbers on the certificate, the driver can face stiff penalties, if pulled over.
Violators of the new law face up to a $1,000 fine, three months in jail, or both.
According to Sgt. Scott Swanson of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, any state trooper can pull a vehicle with darkened windows off the road to check decal numbers and the certificate of compliance and will begin doing so the day the law goes into effect.
"The law goes into effect on July 1, and there is absolutely no grace period. Drivers must have a certificate of compliance," Swanson said.
Just like a yearly vehicle inspection sticker, the new widow tint decals must be replaced yearly and will cost $5. According to Swanson, the biggest problem facing tinted window owners will be locating an inspection station that will perform the test.
Inspection stations that are to conduct window tint inspections must purchase a light meter to test the light of transmittance, or the amount of light that passes through the tint, and the reflective qualities of the window tint. The cost of this equipment, around $500, is keeping many inspection stations from conducting the test, which may cause problems for those needing their decals.
"The cost of the equipment and the amount of stickers that you would have to distribute to make up the cost of the meter just doesn't add up," said Suzanne Riley, owner of Riley Auto & Tire Service in Mantachie.
Unfortunately for those vehicle owners with tinted windows, most inspection stations in Itawamba County seem to feel the same as Riley. Davis Ford, Thompson Tires and Champion Express, all inspection stations in Fulton, have declined to participate in the window tint inspection program. Drivers will find Thompson Brothers Auto Sales in Mantachie to be the nearest inspection station participating in the program and distribution of decals.
"We're trying to get a list of every place that will be involved in the tint program," said Lt. Ed Nelson, director of the MVI and Implied Consent Office. Nelson hopes to soon post a website listing all participating inspection stations.
Both Swanson and Nelson hope that the new law will decrease the number of people illegally tinting their windows.
"When people got a sticker from the highway patrol they would go back and put on darker tint," Nelson said. The decals and matching numbers on the certificate of compliance should help alleviate some of the problem with illegal tinting, forcing drivers to either have their windows inspected or face the penalty.
"It is a primary law. If an officer thinks your windows are too dark, he can stop you," Swanson said.
The new law will also help keep law officers safe from potential dangers inside the vehicle.
"It's a law enforcement safety issue," Swanson said. "If the windows are too dark, we can't see in when we pull someone over."
Nelson agreed that the "main thing is to make it safer for officers and other people."
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