Souped-up vehicle sound systems announcing their presence on the block with every thump, thump, thump of the bass draw the ire of light sleepers and eye-rolls from the unimpressed but the Miami Herald says they now have a powerful group of supporters lined up on their side: The Florida Supreme Court. Yesterday, the court struck down a law that made it illegal for music coming from a car to be “plainly audible” from 25 feet or more.
Lawyer Richard Catalano won reversal of a $73 ticket he got on his way to work as a Justin Timberlake song blasted from his sound system. The justices called the law unconstitutional and an “unreasonable restriction on the freedom of expression.” They wrote that it violated free speech rights for several reasons, including that the law exempted vehicles used for business or political purposes. The justices said the right to play amplified music in public is protected under the First Amendment.