By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The Wyoming Highway Patrol is warning Wyoming drivers that if they go for that extra little bit of window tint, they could be facing a ticket for their trouble.
WHP spokesman Sgt. Jeremy Beck told Cowboy State Daily on Friday that police in the Riverton and Lander areas have been on high alert regarding tinted windows in recent weeks after noticing an uptick in the tinting of car windshields, which the officers felt was a hazard.
“Troopers will try to explain to people that the window tint on the windshield might seem like a good idea, but at night, it will make seeing an animal or a child or someone walking along the road just that much more difficult,” Beck said.
Beck said he understood the appeal of having darkly tinted windows, as it keeps the vehicle’s interior cool and reduces glare, but he warned drivers against having the tint so dark that it exceeds state restrictions, since it could obstruct their view.
According to Wyoming state law, tinting on a windshield must be limited to its top five inches. The tint on the rear and side windows of a sedan-type vehicle cannot exceed 28%.
The tint on the driver- and passenger-side doors of SUVs and pickup trucks must also not exceed 28%, but the back windows of those vehicles can be tinted as heavily as the owner desires as long as the vehicle has both side mirrors.
Loren Bulgin, co-owner of Private Eyes Window Tinting in Cheyenne, told Cowboy State Daily that if a customer wants window tinting darker than the 28% allowed, he has the customer sign a copy of the invoice, showing he or she was informed of the Wyoming state law on window tinting.
“You can basically do whatever you want with a vehicle, it only becomes illegal once you start driving it,” Bulgin said. “You could technically make the windows black or even spray paint them. It only is illegal when you’re operating a motor vehicle with tint darker than legally allowed.”
He said customers ask for tinting darker than the legal limit “quite often,” but could not define how dark the such orders usually go.
While Bulgin said there really isn’t any tint he won’t do, he will try to steer customers away from having windows that are too dark, as that will make their cars stand out to law enforcement officers.
He added that from what he has been told, people who get a ticket for tinting darker than what the law allows simply pay a small fine.
“It’s funny, I actually do a lot of window tinting for highway patrol vehicles, K-9 units, Cheyenne city police,” he said. “Sometimes I go darker for them, especially the K-9 units, because it keeps them cool and safe on a hot day.”