2005-08-10 / News

Violations of new tint law carry hefty fines

By Elizabeth Billips
True Citizen Associate Editor

Violations of new tint
law carry hefty fines
By Elizabeth Billips
True Citizen Associate Editor


Staff photo by Elizabeth billips Cpl. Mike Johnson tests window tinting for Waynesboro Vice-Mayor, Pauline Jenkins. The tinting was well within the legal limits at 73 percent.Staff photo by Elizabeth billips Cpl. Mike Johnson tests window tinting for Waynesboro Vice-Mayor, Pauline Jenkins. The tinting was well within the legal limits at 73 percent.

Burke County resident Valerie Jones admits that she wasn’t up on Georgia’s new tint law until she was stuck paying a $325 ticket.

She was pulled over in Oliver, Ga. last month when an officer glimpsed the darkened windows of her Ford Mustang.

"I had heard about the new law," Jones said, "but it was one of those things I just kept putting off."

In addition to the hefty ticket for her procrastination, she had to pay $150 to have the old tint removed and new, lighter tinting applied.

Unlike Jones, the majority of local drivers appear completely unaware that state law outlawed darker window tinting back in May, Waynesboro Police Chief Karl E. Allen said.

"Almost all the tinted windows I see around town are actually illegal," Chief Allen commented. "It’s really a safety issue … officers need to be able to see what’s going on in a vehicle as they approach it."

According to a Georgia State Patrol news release, the old tint law was struck down as unconstitutional last year because the provisions applied only to vehicles registered in Georgia.

Gov. Sonny Perdue reinstated the tint law on May 2 with House Bill 20 which corrected the language so that it applies to all drivers.

Tinting materials that permit at least 32 percent of light transmission are still legal under Georgia Law; but troopers began issuing citations for darker tinting in June.

Both Chief Allen and Chief Deputy James Hollingsworth of the Burke County Sheriff’s Office said their officers will continue to issue warnings, rather than citations, for the next few weeks.

Chief Allen said anyone who is unsure about their tinted windows may have them tested, free of charge, at police headquarters at Myrick and Council streets.


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