Legislation that would ban secret compartments in vehicles for criminal uses has passed a state House committee.
House Bill 1537, approved Tuesday by the Judiciary Committee, would make it a first-degree misdemeanor to knowingly own or operate a vehicle that has a hidden area for illegal activities such as smuggling drugs, guns and people.
The measure would also makes it a crime to modify or build false such compartments.
A conviction would be punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
The bill also requires the forfeiture of the vehicle and a driver's license suspension.
The measure now goes to the full House for consideration.