Karen DeCoster
April 12, 2013

Just recently, a friend of mine was stopped by the Michigan State Police for having committed the insidious crime of driving her vehicle that has tinted front windows. Tinted windows are regulated by individual states, and in the era of vehicle customizations for artistic purposes, they have become immensely popular, and thus they have also become a favorite target of the police harassment state. You can read an overview of the individual state laws here.

My friend was given a hefty ticket, and she could only avoid the monetary punishment by producing a prescription or a note from a doctor. She only recently bought the car, in used condition, with the windows already tinted. So she immediately reached out to two doctors she sees regularly, and she obtained, yes, a prescription from one doctor and a ‘doctor note’ from her second doctor. It’s easy to make crap up – these docs can spin it any way they want. She sent me copies of the doc note and the prescription, and I found both of them to be hilarious and heroic.

I have another friend who lives in the city of Detroit, where he has been ticketed numerous times for his window tint. He usually gets stopped by the same couple of cops. He is black, a large man, and he is a Muslim – and with his facial hair one can certainly tell that he is a Muslim. Each time he is stopped he is needlessly harassed, and still, he has refused to get rid of the tint. He is a very security-oriented person, and he likes his privacy, especially for his wife when she is driving alone.

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