In Miami, we like the cars that go boom -- and, apparently, so does the Florida Supreme Court.
Thursday the Sunshine State's highest court unanimously struck down a state law that made driving with loud music illegal. The case was Florida v. [Richard] Catalano, et al, in which a Clearwater attorney fought a ticket he received for blasting some Justin Timberlake jams from his car stereo.
In the final opinion of the Court, Justice Jorge Labarga wrote, "The right to play music, including amplified music, in public foray is protected under the First Amendment."
The 2007 statute prohibited playing music that was "plainly audible" 25 feed from motor vehicles, or "louder than necessary for convenient hearing."
But based on the inability to enforce the law indiscriminately, the Court ultimately decided that "in a vagueness [court] challenge, any doubt as to a statute's validity should be resolved in favor of the citizen and against the State."
The Supreme Court appeal stemmed from the ticketing of Catalano and Alexander Schermerhorn, who were similarly cited in 2008 for amplifying music from their vehicles too loudly. Both men contended that their citations amounted to arbitrary policing, and a state appeals court agreed -- prompting the state to petition the case to the state's Supreme Court.
Feel like taking the new ruling for a spin? Here are some Miami-made tunes to crank in the car: