Police handing out tickets for air fresheners -- chicagotribune.com:
"An increasing number of drivers are being cited for windshield and window obstructions, which can include anything an officer deems to "materially obstruct" a driver's vision. The only exceptions are government-issued items such as I-PASS boxes and parking stickers.
Since 2004, the number of motorists stopped by state police for breaking the obscure law has jumped 91 percent. In 2004, about 20,000 drivers were warned or cited, most of them receiving warnings. This year, the number is expected to hit about 38,000.
Offenders can expect little sympathy from Master Sgt. Isaiah Vega of the Illinois State Police.
'Driving is a privilege, and drivers should take every precaution,' he said. Hanging anything from the rear-view-mirror 'could be a dangerous if not deadly error,' Vega said...
Chris Cosley, a defense lawyer in Rolling Meadows, said these stops can have serious consequences for law-abiding people. What happened to his client Ermir Spahiu is the epitome of what's wrong with them, he said.
Spahiu of Chicago rented a Nissan Altima at O'Hare in June and opted to get a GPS unit. The Albanian-born immigrant had been hired by a Palatine car dealer to drive to California and purchase vehicles at auction. Cosley said he was given $200,000 in cash.
A sheriff's deputy pulled him over in Colorado for his GPS unit. Thinking he had nothing to hide, Spahiu agreed to a search, and the deputy found the cash, which had been hidden in the spare tire and in a duffel bag.
Despite finding nothing illegal, the deputy confiscated the cash, which remains in custody of the Drug Enforcement Agency, Cosley said.
He speculated Spahiu's out-of-state license and immigrant profile made him a target, and the GPS provided a reason to stop him.
"It gives police the ability to pull over people they deem suspicious," he said. "He was never charged with any criminal offense.""