Louisiana Drivers Heading to Florida be Aware of this New Law
Louisiana drivers heading to Florida very seldom concern themselves with new laws passed in the Sunshine State. Still, the truth is you can get busted for breaking this law quite easily and chances are you'll never hear law enforcement sneaking up on you.
Like many states when July First rolled around in Florida, new laws were set to take effect. Here in Louisiana we just recently wrapped up our session of the state legislature so we're still sorting out what got passed and what didn't. Oh, and in Louisiana, we still have the possibility of a veto session dangling over our heads. So, we might not be through with adding new laws to our books.
But there is one new Florida law that will be of very keen interest to those of you who love to head to the beach with the top down or the top off. By "top off" I am referring to the removable tops that some Jeeps and SUVs offer, not your shirt. You still have to wear that in a lot of places.
The new law has to do with how loud the music or programming coming from your vehicle's speakers happens to be. Violaters of the new Florida law could be subject to $114 in fines just for "jamming a little too loud".
The question you're probably asking is "what is too loud"? According to the recently passed Florida statute, audio that can be heard from more than 25 feet away can be considered to be too loud. The law refers to audio that is "louder than necessary for convenient hearing".
There are also stipulations regarding loud audio in the vicinity of schools, hospitals, or areas around churches. As you can see by the Tweet from the Orange County Sheriff's Department, they mean business.
Now, if you read the new law it is designed to help keep the peace among those who come to the Sunshine State for vacation. Actually, nothing ruins a trip to the beach like having to enjoy someone else's soundtrack while you're there. But note, that this sound mitigation law is for audio coming from automobiles, but there is a catch.
Every good law that curtails the rights and freedoms of an individual must have a loophole right? One of the loopholes allows emergency and official vehicles to play audio at a volume louder than the new law allows. You'd want that for sirens and official announcements, at least I would think you would. That makes sense. You'd need and want to hear a siren or voice commands from a police cruiser.
The other caveat of the law that makes me laugh out loud but not too loudly is the exception for political purposes. In other words, if you're a candidate for office in Florida you can blare your music and your message as loudly as you want and there is nothing those within earshot can do about it. It doesn't seem exactly fair. It almost seems as if the Florida legislature is making it easier on Florida politicians.
Surprised? Me neither.
The law also provides that businesses who use amplified audio in the performance of their business may have an exemption as well. That means your favorite radio station can still play your favorite songs while they are on a remote broadcast. So, don't attempt to get any of the disc jockeys in trouble. They don't have the $114 fine anyway.
The bottom line is this enjoy your music while you're in Florida but make sure your music stays in your ears. Or be ready to pay the fine.
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