ASK A COP: Merry Christmas from the PA police

Published 4:33 pm Monday, December 21, 2015

From the Chief of Police and the men and women of the Port Arthur Police Department, we would like to take a moment and wish everyone a Merry Christmas! We hope that your Christmas will be filled with joy and happiness. Along with that, we must urge everyone to enjoy your holiday responsibly and soberly, especially behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. If you are going out and you have made a decision in advance to consume adult beverages, add to that plan a ride home or somewhere to sleep until the effects of the alcohol have worn off. Consider in advance that Alcohol and Driving DON’T MIX!

Cassey from Beaumont asks: Officer Antoine, I live in Beaumont but I faithfully read your column every Tuesday. I hope you can help me with a question about vehicle tint. My cousin bought a used car in November and it has very dark tint on the windows. I told him that it was illegal, but he is sticking with the fact that he purchased the vehicle with the dark tint and if it was illegal the dealership should have removed the tint. He has already been stopped by a police officer and given a warning in reference to the tint and Officer Antoine, he still hasn’t removed it. He said he is on a tight budget and hopefully he will get some extra money for Christmas and he will use that to replace the tint. Is it the dealer’s responsibility to remove the tint or the buyer’s?

Answer: Good question, Cassey! Thanks for becoming part of the solution to our commuting problem in Southeast Texas! The buyer holds the burden of legalizing the vehicle with the dark tinted windows. What your cousin should have done was made the dealer responsible for tinting the windows again, or lower the price of the vehicle in the amount of a tint job. He can’t hold the dealer responsible once he leaves the lot with the vehicle. The buyer is responsible for the illegal window tint. Cassey, we encounter something like this all the time. Just because one police officer warned you about a violation, doesn’t give the driver a blanket to continue to operate the vehicle on the roads of Texas. For example, I stop your cousin and give him a citation for speeding and he travels on another road and is stopped by another police officer for speeding again. He can’t show the current police officer that has him stopped the citation that I issued him to release him from speeding. That will send a message that you didn’t learn from the first citation. No matter if you receive a citation, warning or have never been stopped, if you operate a motor vehicle with illegal tint or defective equipment you are subject to being stopped by ANY law enforcement officer every time you operate the vehicle on the road. There are professional tint businesses that your cousin can seek help from, but if his budget is tight now, tell him the tint is very easy to remove. Start on one end and pull the tint off of the front driver and front passenger window in order to make his vehicle road legal.

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Roxanne from Humble asks: Officer Antoine, my vehicle didn’t come with a front license plate bracket, so I just put my front plate on the dashboard. My friend told me I’m supposed to have it on the front, but there isn’t anywhere to put it. Officer Antoine, I also have a lot of friends who display their sorority plates on the front of their vehicles instead of the state issued plate is this legal?

Answer: Good question, Roxanne! Love your name — it’s actually the name I have given  to my patrol unit! This is an issue that many people encounter, NO FRONT LICENSE PLATE! Roxanne, in the state of Texas, you are required to have a state issued license plate on the furthermost front and rear of your vehicle. The excuse that my vehicle didn’t come with a bracket is just that an EXCUSE! Roxanne, it is your responsibility to make your vehicle, “ROAD READY!” Now if your friends are operating a motor vehicle on a state of Texas roadway with a sorority front plate and there is not a state issued plate on the front of their vehicle, they are driving in violation. You can have a sorority plate as long as your state of Texas issued plate is also and on the furthermost front of the vehicle and legible.

Frank from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, I read in last week’s article that a driver can consider themselves running a red light if the light is RED and they haven’t crossed the solid whi te line. Thanks for that information, now I ask, what if the driver stops hard and doesn’t go through the intersection, but their vehicle is over the white line, would that be a citation for running a red light?

Answer: Good question, Frank! If you stop your vehicle and it’s across or beyond the solid white line at the intersection, the charge would be “fail to stop at a designated point,” not disregarding a Red Light! Frank, it would be disregarding a Red light if the vehicle continues across the solid white line or crosswalk and through the intersection after the traffic signal turns RED! Keep in mind Frank that if any motorist is found guilty in the municipal court of Port Arthur this violation carries a fine of $204 plus court cost.

Remember to email your questions to, or call 409-984-8541 and leave a voice mail question, or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public you can Ask A Cop.