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Numbers on rise...but not tint trap yet

Bauxite doesn't issue enough tickets for illegal tint to be considered a trap. At least not yet.

BAUXITE (KATV) -

Numbers revealed by a Freedom of Information Act request show a definite increase in the number of illegal tint tickets being issued in one small Arkansas town.

But the numbers don't support some motorists' claims that the town is a tint trap.

Bauxite Police Chief Jamie Barlow says the number of tickets have gone up because he recently equipped all of his police vehicles with a tint test device.

During the last eight months of 2017 Bauxite police issued five tickets for illegal tint.

The department has already issued more than three times that many this year, but Chief Barlow says that hardly qualifies his town as a tint trap.

"No…this is...it's violating state law,” says Barlow. “And we're enforcing it. That's what our job is to do...to enforce state law."

From May of last year to May of this year, Benton police officers wrote only one ticket for illegal tint.

Saline county deputies wrote five. Bryant officers wrote 15. But Bauxite led the pack with 20.

Excessive tint is considered an officer safety issue and a ticket in Saline county will cost you close to $400.00.

After our Wednesday story aired, about a dozen motorists visited D and D Sun Control in North Little Rock concerned that the tint on their vehicles might be too dark.

D and D Tint tested those vehicles for free and will do the same for you if you are concerned.

"If anyone ever wants to come by and just has a question if it is legal, if it is not legal, you know, what they need to do to change it., they can come by and we can meter it and go from there," says Phil Rucker with D and D Sun Control.

Bauxite police are willing to do the same.

"We would be happy to help,” says Chief Barlow. “Especially if they live here in Saline county. If they want to come in and have their vehicle checked out that wouldn't be a problem at all."

"And you won't ticket them if they are too dark?"

"No sir," says Barlow.

Chief Barlow says any reputable tint shop will have a meter and be able to show you when the job is finished if your tint is legal.

To be legal in Arkansas the front seat windows must allow in at least 25 percent of the light outside. The rear and back windshield can be tinted darker.

Air date: May 11th, 2018

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