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November 9, 2010

Ray Rice brags about escaping traffic ticket


Ravens running back Ray Rice tweeted last night that he got pulled over by police for having tinted windows "but gave the officer a autograph for his son and he let me go." (Screen grab via Inside Charm City). He went on to write: "And the officer admitted to being a die hard redskins fan I def got lucky tonight."

"Inside" first posted about the twitter messages, and it was picked up by NBC's Pro Football Talk.  The Sun's Ravens insider blog says the running back was expected to address the issue at today's practice. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Lt. Robert McCullough, the chief spokesman for the Baltimore County Police Department, confirmed a few minutes ago that an officer from his agency stopped Rice. The spokesman declined further comment but said more information would be forthcoming. said police had not talked to the officer and would not comment today.

UPDATE 2: For his part, Rice said after practice this afternoon that he was in a parking lot to buy the new Call of Duty video game and was stopped by an officer for the tinted window, according to The Sun's Jamison Hensley. He said the officer gave him a warning and then he gave the autograph. He said there was no special treatment.

So what's the state law on window tint? The Berwyn Heights Police Department in Prince George's County, addresses it here:

"The 35% Window Tint Law in Maryland means that the TOTAL amount of light being transmitted through the glass of a motor vehicle cannot be less than 35%.  In other words, it doesn't make any difference what percentage the actual window tinting film is rated at, you still cannot exceed 35% total Light Transmittance Value, or LTV for short.

Be forwarned [sic] that if you get stopped with illegally tinted windows, it's YOU that gets the $55.00 ticket, not the shop that installed it. Plus you'll have the added cost of having it removed from your vehicle, which is probably as much as it was to have it put it on!"

If a "safety equipment repair order" has been issued for a window tint violation, the problem must be corrected and the vehicle reinspected within 10 days by a member of the Maryland State Police Automotive Equipment Safety Division.

In the 1990s, a federal appeals court ruled that window tint gave police the right to search a car. "We can conceive of almost nothing more dangerous to a law enforcement officer in the context of a traffic stop than approaching an automobile whose passenger compartment is entirely hidden from the officer's view with darkly tinted windows," a judge wrote.

-Peter Hermann and Justin Fenton

Posted by Peter Hermann at 12:58 PM | | Comments (36)
Categories: Baltimore County, Breaking news


I have no problem with this at all. People should have the freedom to have any kind of tint that they want on their windows.

It's a BS law and I'm glad that Rice didn't get a ticket as he clearly has not done anything which violates the rights of others. It doesn't matter how he got out of it to me.

Wow, he made this information public? I thought people from Rutgers were smarter than that. My mistake...

Here's a scenario for you. Ray Rice doesn't have dark tinted windows, some low life notices Ray driving figures since he's a star in the NFL and most likely carrying a large some of money or something of significant value and waits for Ray's car to stop, shoots him and steals his $$ , jewelry etc.... who cares about tinted windows? Go catch a rapist or someone preying on children.

"People should have the freedom to have any kind of tint that they want on their windows"

As a police officer it is very dangerous to walk up to a car you just pulled over and not be able to see inside. Thats how police get killed on duty.
That is the reason for the tint law. Safety.

MatthewG-You're a freakin' genius. What insight!

Understanding that a cop would not want to approach a car that he/she can not see into. Too many crazies out there.

I understand people have rights, that is what makes the USA the best country in the world. The window tint law is designed to protect law enforcement officers from danger when stopping vehicles. The officer's safety is the important issue. The officer does not make or regulate the window tint laws in the state of Maryland, the officer is only enforcing the law set by our state government.

If this is true the officer in question should be suspended. Ray Rice should be disciplined by the NFL for bribing an officer of the law. The Ravens should fine him. He should be made to remove the tinting if it is illegal. Being a pro athlete does not give him the right to do whatever he pleases and it especially does not give him the right to break laws.

Okay. So now everbody who is not rich, and famous and has dark window tint will get the $55.00 ticket. Including me.....

You can debate the window tinting law all you want. How is it that Ray Rice gets special treatment. Any non millionaire, spoiled sports star would have to pay the fine and get the tinting removed. Ray Rice just has a laugh with his buddies.

Because of the dark tint - the LEO only saw a young black male driving a car and wanted to see what he was up to in that area. And since he could not fully identify the driver or see through the car - the tint instantly becomes a probable cause to pull him over. Then when he figures out who it is and that Mr Rice definitely belongs in that neighborhood. It becomes an autograph session. Not really a big deal - just your normal everyday instance of profiling that goes on everyday around this here parts. End of story.

Ray J,

I understand your concern. The bottom line is that the window tint business that tints windows knows how dark the windows can be per state law.

People please, how in this day and age do you know it was even the Ray Rice that is a Raven that is tweeting. Plus an officer has the right to ticket or warn on every car stop. Get a frickin life!

Let's see, if I, Joe Q. Public, got pulled for too dark tint, do you think the officer would let me off without a ticket? HA! This is just wrong. I don't care if it's Ray Rice or the Pope, the law applies to everyone. Doesn't this qualify as the officr accepting a bribe???

I personally have tint on my windows. I have 35% on my windows. Most cars come with a standard tint of 7-10%. I have had a state trooper test mine and it's at 27%. Now I am aware that this is against the letter of the law. I have been stopped 3 times so far, once for speeding, the lack of a front plate, and a seatbelt violation. Everytime I've pulled over and stop, every window of mine goes down and the interior lights come on. I have yet to have a officer say something. The tinted windows keep my car cooler in the summer and make it harder for theives to scope things out. Not too mention my car's appearance is enhanced with the darker windows. I think that there are just too many laws and not enough people with common sense.


It is the officer's discretion whether to issue a citation, repair order, warning, or nothing at all. You armchair lawyers need to know the law and policy before you open your mouths.

Ray Rice and the rest of his team mates are paid to entertain us - this is most entertaining and that's his job.

I wonder how many other gifts this officer has received so he wouldn't write someone a ticket? Has he ever let a prostitute or a drug dealer go after a little Quid Pro Quo? I think that is the main issure. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Ray I know your young but when a police officer lets you off you DO NOT BROADCAST it to the general public. Cmon dude! Penny wise POUND foolish. What did ya think his boss was gonna do after he got wind of it???? Loose lips shink ships just remember going forward...

Anonymous ,
Twitter authenticates accounts for celebrities.

The @RayRice27 account is verified as belonging to *the* Ray Rice tha plays for the Ravens.

I've been pulled over twice for tinted windows in the last 7 years......I was given a warning the 1st time Because I got pulled over in the county but lived and truck was registered in the city (so he said, maybe cop didn't want to fill out repair order). 2nd time I received a repair order so I had to remove the tint then take it to an inspection station to get it signed off on before returning completed repair order to DMV as required. Next day I was back at tint shop getting new tint on.

I think that it is important to note that the tint violation is a secondary violation, meaning you cannot be pulled over for tint alone. Also it is important to note an officer on the street does not have the tools to determine if the tint is too dark, just getting a ticket for this does not mean the tint is too dark. Other factors can affect how dark tinting looks, (amount of light inside the car, amount of light outside the car, time of day, whether or not it is sunny or overcast). I have tinted windows and had them inspected and they are within the 35% parameter. However, at night or if it is overcast you cannot see into my car at all, however during the day you can see into the car. Like i said, just being ticketed does not automatically mean you violated the law, the ticket has to be verified as true by having an officer at state police barrack check the tint with the required device.

As someone as mentioned above, the police officer has the right to do what he sees fit; he can write a ticket or not do anything at all. If Ray was cool with him, the officer was cool right back.
You people spouting off about bribery need to get a clue...

What??? No Spitting???

What I don't understate about the tint is that they claim it is unsafe for the LEO but, SUV's come from the dealer with dark tint. My Expiditon has 20 on it you cannot see in the back at all yet this is legal. so I don't buy the whole unsafe aspect. if that was the case no car could have tint.

Hey Ray, next time you get pulled over, let me know and the Traffic Ticket Defense Center will be happy to defend you in court!

David Weinstein

OK, here's another story about the money-making BS the State of MD passes off as being "for the safety of everyone"..(but applies only to us working folks or those out looking for work!). Leaving my neighborhood on a Saturday morning at 7:45, the Harford County Sheriff driving at me after a long night shift decides he needs one more ticket before punching out. Makes the U-Turn, pulls me over for doing "at least 68 in a posted 55" zone. I was in 2nd or 3rd gear and just yards from the complete stop I just had made, so I was not buying it. I was not in a rush and I had a coffee in my hand. So, he makes me wait and brings back a ticket for doing 62 in a 55 and orders me to remove all my 20% window tinting within 10 days (Mind you, I'm a regular white guy of 46 yrs old in the HIGH CRIME AREA of FALLSTON, MD). So, I get the tint removed and go to the State Police Barrack in Bel Air to have it verified and signed off. Trooper comes out and sees the car and says, "Are you kidding me?! The Sheriff 's Deputies made you take the tint off a car like this?!" OK, so, back to the same cop (the Sheriff), about a month later. He's parked in the local 7-11 lot and watching people drive up and get gas. I get gas. He follows me out and after I turn onto Route 152 at the light, he pulls me over with sirens and lights going. It's pouring down rain and I'm all ready with window down and registration in hand. But he sits there while. When I start to get out of the car to see what the hell's going on, he goes ballistic, flying out of his car and yelling at me to get back in mine. I ask him what I can do for him this morning. Nothing. By this time it doesn't matter because I was soaked clean through from the rain. But I get in the car and he comes up and asks for ID, and I asked him again what I could do for him, etc...he walks away and comes back to my car and starts to take pictures of my front bumper/license plate. I get back out of the car and he once again goes nuts on me with orders to return to the car. All the while, I had NO IDEA WHY HE WAS PULLING ME OVER and he wouldn't answer me! He finally comes back with a ticket for not being able to read my front tag at 50 feet away in the pouring rain; told me I was "intentionally avoiding identification by obstructing the view of my registration tags" becasue of the way the tag was mounted. I explained that my particular model does not have a bracket and that the tag was mounted the way a Baltimore County Sergeant told me to mount it when I bought the car 2 years ago. He didn't care: the ticket was something like $280 AND I missed a job interview I schedule for. This amount was, of course, most of my UNEMPLOYMENT CHECK of $405. So I go home and take the license tag off and put it up on my dashboard in plain view. A few months later, on my first week at my new JOB, brand new State Trooper named Montana is on I-95 and pulls me over and says, "You don't have a front license tag." I said, "Sir, it's right there (2 feet from my hand in plain view)". He comes back with a ticket for $60 for "improper display of the vehicle registration tags." So, let's review: MOUNTED = they say they can't read it from 50 feet away (in the pouring rain) and it cost me $280. NOT MOUNTED but in clear view up on the dash = $60 fine. The tinting, which I always thought was a secondary offense (of which I see numerous, egregious violations daily on my 100 mile-round-trip commute down I-95) cost me a couple hundred bucks to put on; more $$$ to insure in case it needed to ever come off later (e.g., selling the car w/ a MD State Inspection), and still more $$$ to re-tint at 35% or lighter. WTF?! Hey, O'Malley, why don't you just install toll booths every mile throughout the state and let people do whatever the hell they want with their cars?! Funny, I used to know the Sheriff's name and I'd have posted it as a heads up, but...I think I needed to forget it!! Now, who wants to move on to seat belts, cell phones and motorcycle helmets...?!

@dshort, I believe the law only pertains to the front side driver and front side passenger window....Lots of trucks and SUVs come with the back windows tinted but the fronts usually have to be done after sale.

Funny how tint is a problem in Maryland but states like Florida it's not a problem. I think the state likes it's Maryland no tint law. After all, you take your tent off and have it inspected. You then pay some guy money to put it back on and the materials are then taxed. Maryland in the end makes more money off you for doing something that other states find completely legal.

Unless you have light sensitive eyes, the only reason to have tinted windows is if you are doing something like driving around smoking drugs, smuggling illegal immigrants, or picking up hookers in Pigtown. They should simply ban them outright and lock up anyone that has them for at least a year, then we wouldn't have to worry about this 35% BS.

Can someone help me? What is "SMH" in Ray's tweet?

Abbreviation for "shaking my head" - JF

@Bob: The Transportation Code is online since you seem to have such a hard time getting your vehicle into compliance with the law. I don't know why it is everyone else's problem that you can't do what the law tells you to. Officers are supposed to enforce the law, and while they are given discretion on how to do so, you can hardly get mad at them for doing their jobs. You act like because your car is almost legal you should get a pass for it. I guess if I were unemployed or recently unemployed, I wouldn't spend the money to have my car retinted. But that's just me.

Hey "Taking The Country Back" I disagree. Tinted windows significantly reduce the temperature in a vehicle during hot summer days not just when I am smoking drugs, smuggling illegal immigrants, or picking up hookers in Pigtown. Maybe I'm just ignorant to what people really use tinted windows for.

1. If tinted windows is such a "safety concern" for police officers, why most police officers' personal cars had DARK A$$ WINDOWS! If you think I'm making this up, just drive to the closest station/sub-station and see for yourself. 2. the state of Florida( just 1 example) you can tint your windows as dark as midnight during a lunar eclipse and it's perfectly legal. 3. to sum it up... another case of driving while being a minority.

Is there some kind of test that the officer can use to make sure its 35%? Or is it just a visual test?

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About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.

Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.

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