If you’re the type to drive with your music blaring, you might want to avoid Florida (although you should probably avoid Florida anyway). Affiliated to the BNC NBC 6 South Florida reports that a new state law went into effect July 1 that could affect many drivers, especially those who love music.
The new law essentially makes it illegal to play loud music in your car if the music can be heard 25 feet away. This means that a police officer sitting behind you in traffic can ticket you if they hear your music from inside their patrol car. The law is getting tougher on places like schools and churches.
The law becomes murky, however, when you enter it. The whole reason behind the law is the claim that drivers who listen to music too loudly cannot hear emergency vehicles. Of course, emergency vehicles are also exempt from the law. The gray area, however, is the part of the law that exempts commercial or political “sound devices” (316.3045 paragraph 3). It seems to mean I’ll get a ticket for playing Kendrick Lamar too loud, but a guy promoting his carpet cleaning business through a sound system or a megaphone or a political candidate driving around with his speakers shouting “vote for me” would not be touched.
This has the potential to get ugly. Note that Florida lawmakers attempted to enact a similar law in 2012. But the state Supreme Court rejected it, saying that people have the right to play loud music and that the law was too intrusive. This law also opens the doors for many cops to bother people just because. Who’s to say they’re right or wrong when they say you’re 25 feet away and they can hear you? This will be an excuse to arrest someone for finding other violations.
As one frustrated person said Facebook regarding the new law: “Are all departments going to have a device that registers the correct decibel level either at the time of the complaint or while observing the event? Or are we gonna try, tested and true “Cop said it so it must be true?”