A lot of convertible owners are breathing a sigh of relief in Florida, where a law making it illegal to blast loud music or other audio from a car stereo system has been declared unconstitutional.
A three-judge panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Lakeland ruled Wednesday in a pair of Pinellas County cases. The lawsuit was brought by Richard T. Catalano and Alexander Schermerhorn, who both received citations for playing their car music too loudly. Catalano is a Clearwater attorney.
The judges found the law is an unconstitutional suppression of free speech because it arbitrarily exempts vehicles used for business or political purposes.
They also ruled a provision making it illegal for sound to be "plainly audible" from 25 feet or more away from a vehicle was unconstitutionally vague.
The panel, though, agreed to certify the vagueness issue to the Florida Supreme Court for further review as a question of great public importance.
Earlier in May, Sen. Steve Oelrich, R-Cross Creek, a former Alachua County sheriff, had penned a bill to increase the penalties for second and third violations.
Rep. Oscar Braynon, who hails from Miami led the charge against the bill.
“It points to a certain population that prefers this music, prefers the music playing this loud,” Braynon, 34, told the Miami Herald. “I happen to like to play my music a little louder.”
With reporting by The Associated Press.