Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tinted Windows ok in California - how to avoid DUI if tinted windows

CALIFORNIA dui criminal defense attorney information

For many in the California Highway Patrol, the most common question people ask CHP these days in Lake County is: "Can I have tinted windows?"

The answer is generally no, unless you follow particular rules:

"If I can't see in to the car, then they get a ticket," CHP say. "The rule is you can't have anything that obstructs the view in the front. So whether it's a tinted window, or a cracked windshield or a fuzzy dice, if it's something that distracts you or obscures the view, you can get a ticket for it."

CHP says they is "bombarded" by people calling and walking into the CHP office with questions about window tint. He said the most common questions are "how dark can I have my windows tinted? Or, "the guy at the window tint place said I could have tint as long as you can see through it."

The only legal tinted windows allowed are the windows to the rear of the driver's seat, provided there are two outside rear-view mirrors. The front windshield and drivers and front passenger's windows cannot be tinted. The only exception is a narrow UV band at the top of the windshield.

The California Vehicle Code states: "No person shall drive a motor vehicle with any object or material placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied in or upon a vehicle which obstructs or reduces the driver's clear view through the windshield or side windows."

Another section of the Vehicle Code states: "No person shall place, install, affix, or apply any transparent material upon the windshield, or side windows of any motor vehicle when the material alters the color or reduces the light transmittance of the windshield or side windows."

"The basic answer is, if it's not a clear UV protectant then it's not legal," CHP Officer Garcia says. But the issue of legality is commonly skirted at the shop when someone asks to get their car windows tinted.

"It's similar to the cable descramblers you see for sale in certain classified ads. It's not illegal to posses, but it's illegal to use. The same goes for all the miscellaneous parts you can buy to supe up your car. They would be OK for a race track to use, just not on the roadway," CHP say. "The tint places should be doing the right thing and telling them it's not legal before they put it on, but then they would lose sales."

Properly tinted windows is something California DUI criminal defense lawyers hope their clients take care of, ahead of time.