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Wisconsin woman disputes ticket for tinted car windows

She says they're needed to accommodate a medical condition
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Posted at 10:01 PM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 00:04:25-04

OMRO (NBC 26) — Tinted car windows are just part of life for Danielle Humski, a Winneconne resident.

"The tint helps me with my light sensitivity issues," Humski said.

She's had the tint for years to help with a diagnosed chronic condition.

"I can get a migraine in seconds driving in the sun and it's debilitating," Humski said.

Last year, Humski said Omro police pulled her car over and gave a warning on the tinted windows. She said police told her the tint isn't compliant with Wisconsin law and needed to be removed, despite her medical condition.

Six months later, Humski said her car was stopped again. Even though she had a doctors note, Humski said police gave her a ticket for the tinted glass.

"I have to have the tint for my driving in order for me to be able to do my daily activities," Humski said. "I need that in order to drive."

Wisconsin has certain rules when it comes to tinted glass on vehicles.

"For the front windows, you can have tint that has to allow 50% of light to pass through," said Ofc. Keith Rager, Green Bay Police Department traffic enforcement. "In the rear, you can have 35%. And as far as the windshield goes, there's a little line on top of the windshield called the AS1 - it's usually marked on the windshields. You can't have any tint that goes below that line."

The Green Bay Police Department isn't involved in Humski's ticket or case.

Rager said tinted windows aren't a main reason why their officers stop drivers. He said it may come up after someone is pulled over for another traffic violation, such as speeding. If that happens, Rager said they'll use a tint meter to educate drivers on safety.

"Heavy tint can cause many issues, especially with the weather once you add in time of night, then snow, ice," Rager said. "Poor visibility is one of the main reasons accidents occur. And then once you start adding different factors on top of those tint levels, then it starts to make a big impact."

Humski said she's traveled across the country in her vehicle and had never been pulled over for a tint violation before last year.

She said she's never been in an accident while driving with tinted windows.

Humski is appealing the ticket in the City of Omro Municipal Court. She showed NBC 26 several notes from her neurologist that she plans to use in her defense, who recommends she use a higher tint in her vehicle to improve her ability to drive for a chronic migraine condition that is "severe and indefinite."

"There's multiple different things that help citizens accessing transportation and the road system, and I'm just asking that I be allowed some tint so I can drive," Humski said.

A hearing is being scheduled in Omro Municipal Court in July. Humski said she plans to file a disability lawsuit.

Wisconsin law states tinted windows by the manufacturer that are originally installed are legal.

State statute says tinting of the vent and front side windows is permitted when:

"The windows are tinted, upon the recommendation of a physician or a Christian Science practitioner treating the owner, or an immediate family member of the owner of the vehicle, by the application of tinting film to the inside of the glazing provided that the combination of the glazing and tinting film permits passage through the windows of at least 35% of the visible light striking the windows. Tinting films permitted under this subdivision may not be reflective. A written statement from the treating physician or Christian Science practitioner which identifies the patient, the medical condition justifying the recommendation, whether the condition is temporary or permanent and the vehicle to which the recommendation applies, including the make, model, year and vehicle identification number, shall be carried in the vehicle at all times."