In the car audio arena, the really loud cars with multiple subs ’bump’ or ‘slap.’ Many local governments implement noise ordinances, however few are ever fought. But in the case of attorney Richard Catalano- he had the means to fight the infraction all the way to the Florida Supreme Court- the State was not going to get his $74. Or the right to bump. However, just because the law was rejected let’s all be respectful on where we choose to bump. Preferably not in a residential area. And Thanks Richard for bringing sexy back!
From the Sarasota Herald-Tribune
TALLAHASSEE – Florida’s law telling drivers who blast their car stereos to turn down the volume unreasonably restricts free speech rights, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
The decision invalidating the noise law will reverberate throughout the state in communities like Sarasota, which have modeled local ordinances and restrictions based on the state law.
Sarasota went even further, using its ordinance to fine drivers and impound their cars. But the noise restriction has not been enforced since 2010, when the American Civil Liberties Union and the city reached an agreement on a legal challenge.
It marked the second time this week that the courts have shot down a regulation to control the quality of life in Sarasota.
On Tuesday, a county judge ruled that the city must stop enforcing its ordinance banning smoking in public parks.
In Thursday’s ruling, which was based on two Pinellas County cases, the state’s highest court upheld an opinion from the 2nd District Court of Appeal nullifying the 2005 state law, which allowed police officers to pull over motorists if their sound systems were “plainly audible” from 25 feet away.
Justice Jorge Labarga wrote in the majority opinion that “the statute is invalid because it is an unreasonable restriction on the freedom of expression.”
The justices found the law “overbroad, but not unconstitutionally vague.”
One of the faults of the law was that it did not apply “equally to music, political speech and advertising,” Labarga wrote. The business and political sound systems were exempted from the law.