Through a state grant, LPD has received seven tint meters, which give a digital reading of how dark a car's windows are.
Any tint job that allows less than 35 percent of available light in the front windows is illegal in Idaho and Washington. Officer Matthew Breese said the dark windows pose a safety risk.
"We've been doing test runs for the last four or five months to get a basis of what people are running at," said Breese. "It's been as low as 3 to 5 percent on some vehicles, immediately to the right and to the left. This causes safety issues, not only for motoring public needing to make eye contact with other motorists and motorcycles, but also officer safety issues. Not being able to see who's in the vehicle, what they're carrying, if anything."
Breese said in the past few months officers have made a significant number of stops regarding the illegal tinting, which is a primary offense. He said at least one window tinting business in Lewiston will tint windows past the legal limit if you sign a liability waiver.
Breese said a fine of $52 can be given to those who violate the law.
"As of now we've done very little actual fine enforcement," said Breese. "We've done a lot of education. We've stopped hundred of cars to make them aware. It's not that we're out to write a bunch of tickets for this. It's merely, a this point, an education. We've been doing the education process for three to four months now and it's time to let everyone know that we're going to start issuing citations to get it correct if it's not done voluntarily."
If you're wondering if your windows are too dark, officers said a good rule of thumb is if you can see a clear silhouette of all people inside the vehicle your windows are legal.
But if you're still not sure, LPD will be providing a courtesy evaluation Tuesday through Thursday at the police station from 11:00 to 1:00.
Breese said checking your car will only take a few seconds, and no tickets will be given if you are found to be in violation of the law. He says they just want you to get your windows replaced if they are illegal.