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Police say they will be unable to enforce loud music coming from vehicles

12:09 AM, Dec 21, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- One week has passed since the highest court in the Sunshine State struck down a law that made playing loud music from a car illegal. The issue is still booming among some people living in the First Coast. Most of the time, the area of Acorn in New Town in Jacksonville is quiet. But...

"At times, there's a lot of loud, vulgar music," said Toni Myers, who lives in the area.

Myers said it often comes from the speakers of passing cars during the day or neighbor's cars on weekends.

"I'm not saying that you should not be allowed to play your music," she said. "But, what I'm saying is that your music should not disturb me."

Florida's State Supreme Court recently declared a law making it illegal to blast loud music from a car unconstitutional. The judges said it violates free speech rights for several reasons, including that it exempts vehicles used for business or political purposes. Attorney Michael Freed is very familiar with constitutional law.

"The government needs to go back to the drawing board. In this instance, come up with a way to accomplish the government purpose, which is legitimate," Freed said. "But, to do it in a way that doesn't intervene on speech."

"I feel that it's unconstitutional also for me to have to listen to someone else's loud, vulgar, disturbing music," Myers said.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said it can enforce municipal noise ordinances in certain situations. But with the new ruling, things will be different.

"We will be unable to enforce any laws deemed unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court ruling regarding loud music or noise making devices coming from vehicles for the purpose of making traffic stops," said JSO spokesperson Shannon Hartley in a statement.

"Well," Myers said. "I think, somewhere along the way, the rules need to be changed."

First Coast News

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