DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - If you drive in Mississippi, it might be time to lighten up. Starting next year, DeSoto County wants to crack down on illegal window tinting.
Right now cars won't pass inspection if the glass is too dark. State troopers can issue tickets for that, and DeSoto lawmakers want to give sheriff's deputies the authority as well.
In Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas, at least 28% of the light has to get through the window.
"The lower the number, the darker it is on the tint," says Becky Roop with Camper City Tint Shop. And the harder it is to see inside and out.
28% applies to all windows in cars and the front two windows of trucks and SUVs. "I don't do illegal tint," Roop says, but it's not hard to find somebody who will.
"You can find it anywhere, whether it be a reputable tint shop or somebody doing it in their backyard."
Cars won't pass inspection if windows are too tinted. "We remove a lot of tint from people that can't get inspection or have gotten tickets," Roop tells abc24.com. Those tickets are just from state troopers.
If DeSoto County has a say, sheriff deputies would also be able to ticket. It's a safety issue for cops who need to see what's happening inside the car before the driver rolls down the window
"That's the main reason," Roop says. "I don't see any reason why any officer shouldn't be able to ticket you for anything that's illegal."
"It's a good thing and a bad thing," says Gregory Anton. "The bad thing is they can use it for probable cause."
"If you're a police officer especially, and it's really dark and you can't see, it is a safety issue," agrees Roy Waddell.
Removing the dark tint can cost one to two hundred dollars. If the law passes, tickets can cost as much as one thousand dollars and include up to three months in jail.
Legislation will be presented in January.