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Arrest — Traffic Offense — Safety Glass Law

State v. Michael M. Longcore II, 2001 WI App 15, on appeal after remand of State v. Longcore I, 226 Wis. 2d 1, 594 N.W.2d 412 (Ct. App. 1999)
For Longcore: William E. Schmaal, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue: Whether replacing a vehicle’s glass window with a plastic sheet violates the safety glass statute, § 347.43(1), so as to provide probable cause to arrest.

Holding:

¶11 We do not perceive any ambiguity in WIS. STAT. § 374.43(1). It mandates that wherever glass is used on the particular vehicle being operated, it must be safety glass. It is undisputed that glass is used in the windows of Longcore’s vehicle. He therefore was required to replace a broken window with safety glass.

¶14 The attorney general put it succinctly sixty-three years ago when he said that the safety glass statute “makes it unlawful for any person to operate an automobile … unless it is equipped with safety glass.” See 26 Wis. Op. Att’y Gen., supra, at 138. Longcore violated the statute. Therefore, the officer had probable cause to stop the vehicle at which time he determined that Longcore was operating after revocation. Longcore’s conviction for operating after revocation is affirmed.

 

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