Florida Supreme Court strikes down loud car stereo law - FOX 35 News Orlando

Florida Supreme Court strikes down loud car stereo law

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -

Florida's top judges say it's ok to crank up the bass while out in your car. 

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that boosting the bass to your car stereo, when others can hear it at 25 feet away, is acceptable.

Supporters like Chris Prince love the idea.  Prince's car is full of high-tech audio equipment, but his hobby comes at a bigger price. He said he's received a ton of tickets, and police seem to always tell him the same thing.

"Your music is too loud," Prince said. "Noise ordinance. Twenty-five feet away. They said they can hear me coming from well beyond that."

After Thursday's ruling, Prince is allowed to sound off in the streets and even help others do the same at his day job at "Time N Sound"

"I love doing what I do," said Prince. "I like making customers happy. They hear my system and they want it just as loud, if not louder."

His boss Kirit Mistry said it's a good thing, especially because business is booming-- literally.

"There's a misconception," said Mistry. "Loud music doesn't' always mean, here, I'm going to annoy you. Sometimes, most of the time, really, it's just for people to enjoy."

Florida justices ruled the 2005 state law that allowed police to pull over motorists if their speakers were quote "plainly audible from 25 feet away" is unconstitutional. That means some issues for cities like Orlando with ordinances dealing with noise pollution. One of the biggest issues, justices wrote, is it violates free speech since business and political sound systems were exempt.

Still, not everyone is happy about the decision.  Many critics question others' rights to enjoy some peace and quiet.

"It just depends on where you are, and also the time of night," said Mike Miller. "If it's at night? No, because people are home and they want to be at home relaxing. There's just a time and a place for everything."

"It's freedom of speech, right?" Mistry disagreed.

The ruling is based on two Pinellas County cases.

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