Florida’s loud music statute goes into effect July 1st

Police Pulls Over Vehicle – FL Loud Music Statute – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Michael O’Keene

On July 1, a new Florida statute will go into effect making it illegal for anyone to have their radio turned up too loud while driving.

According to the new law, audio blaring from a vehicle that can be heard within 25 feet or more will result in a traffic violation.

“It is punishing the amplification, how loud the music is,” Barry University law professor Terri Day said.

The statute also emphasizes that audio louder than necessary heard near locations such as schools, churches, and hospitals will be considered punishable as a non-moving infraction. 

“The only concern might be a selective enforcement, and although the statute provides some parameters for when the sound is too loud, it still is a little vague,” Day said.

There are some exceptions to the new law. For example, vehicles used for political purposes or business will be exempt from a fine. 

In addition, the updates do not apply to law enforcement vehicles equipped with communication devices that are necessary to assist in emergency situations or to perform law enforcement duties.

“I don’t think I need to be hearing people’s music from the whole 25 feet away,” according to Marissa Garatino, a 10-year resident of Central Florida who said she is “not opposed to the new law.”

“I understand if you’re next to someone at a red light, their windows are down, or even if they’re not down, I get that. But being that far away, it just seems like it could disturb the peace a little bit.”

Previously, the Supreme Court overturned a law that would restrict drivers from playing loud music in Florida nearly 10 years ago.

The wording of the previous statute was described as “plainly vague” according to its ruling. 

According to Day, the wording of the new statute may be a key reason it is passed.

She added that it currently does not step on constitutional rights in its format. 

“For instance, if the statute says that anybody who plays loud rap music will be given a citation, that would raise issues of the First Amendment,” Day said.

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