Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

11/09/89 the People of the State of v. Frank L. Hagen

November 9, 1989

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

FRANK L. HAGEN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

(1) MOTOR VEHICLES MANUFACTURED PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 1982; . . .." (ILL. RE

v.

STAT. 1983, CH. 95 1/2, PAR. 12-503(F).) THE STATUTE AS AMENDED IN PUBLIC ACT 85 -- 1144, EFFECTIVE JULY 29, 1988 (1988 ILL. LEGIS. SERVICE 1023, 1025 (WEST); 1988 ILL. LAWS 1106, 1109), STATES IN PERTINENT PART:



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT

547 N.E.2d 577, 191 Ill. App. 3d 265, 138 Ill. Dec. 410 1989.IL.1766

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County; the Hon. John A. Mehlick, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE SPITZ delivered the opinion of the court. McCULLOUGH, P.J., and KNECHT, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SPITZ

Defendant Frank Hagen pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle with obstructed, or tinted, front side windows in violation of section 12-503(a) of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Code) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-503(a)). The trial court denied defendant's motion to dismiss alleging that section 12-503(a) is unconstitutional in that it violates the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitution and article I, section 2, of the Illinois Constitution of 1970. (U.S. Const., amend. XIV; Ill. Const. 1970, art. I, § 2.) Defendant now appeals.

On December 17, 1988, defendant was stopped and ticketed for operating a motor vehicle with tinted front side windows in violation of section 12-503(a) of the Code. (Ill. Rev. Stat., 1988 Supp., ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-503(a).) At trial, defendant testified that he was a self-employed gunsmith and gun dealer and that he often carried guns in his car. Defendant tinted the front side windows of his car to prevent passersby from looking inside the vehicle and seeing the gun boxes. Before he tinted the windows, defendant questioned both the District 9 State Police and the Vehicle Inspection Department of the Secretary of State about the legality of tinted film. Defendant was advised that if one could read a driver's license through the tint, the vehicle was legal. Defendant stipulated to the facts alleged, was convicted of the offense, and fined $50.

Defendant argues that section 12 -- 503(a) of the Code is unconstitutional because it violates the equal protection clauses of the United States and Illinois Constitutions. The statute, as amended in Public Act 82 -- 122, effective January 1, 1982 (1981 Ill. Laws 858, 859), stated in pertinent part:

"Windshields must be unobstructed and equipped with wipers. (a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle with any sign, poster, window application, reflective material or nonreflective material upon the front windshield, sidewings or side windows immediately adjacent to each side of the driver which materially obstructs, obscures or impairs the view from both within or without the vehicle. A tinted film may be used along the upper portion of the windshield if such material does not extend more than 6 inches down from the top." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-503(a).)

Public Act 82-122 replaced the words "other nontransparent" (material) in section 12-503(a) (compare Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-503(a)) with "window application, reflective material or nonreflective" (material). Also added to the act in 1982 was subsection (f) of section 12-503, which read in pertinent part:

"Paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Section shall not apply to:

"Windshields must be unobstructed and equipped with wipers. (a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle with any sign, poster, window application, reflective material, nonreflective material or tinted film upon the front windshield, sidewings or side windows immediately adjacent to each side of the driver. A nonreflective tinted film may be used along the uppermost portion of the windshield if such material does not extend more than 6 inches down from the top of the windshield." (Emphasis added.) (Ill. Rev. Stat., 1988 Supp., ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-503(a).)

Public Act 85 -- 1144 replaced the words "which materially obstructs, obscures or impairs the view from both within or without the vehicle" with "or tinted film." Section 12 -- 503, as rewritten in Public Act 82 -- 122, also includes subsection (f), which relates the amendment back to cars manufactured on or after January 1, 1982.

The purpose of the prohibition against tinted windows is to protect the safety of law enforcement personnel who stop and approach a vehicle. Tinted windows prevent law officers from perceiving any dangers or problems inside the vehicle. Defendant accepts this as a valid State objective. However, Defendant claims that the 1988 amendment to section 12 -- 503 cannot pass an equal protection analysis because subsection (f), limiting the statute's application to cars manufactured on or after January 1, 1982, bears no rational relationship to the objective of protecting law officers. Defendant argues that a 1978 car with tinted windows is no less dangerous than defendant's 1987 car with ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.