Top 5 Worst Songs to Go to Jail For-Florida's Loud Music Law
The Free State of Florida loves telling people what to do.
As of July 1, our state legislators, in their infinite wisdom, have made it illegal in Florida to play loud music from your car.
It is a very dumb law. To violate Florida Statue 316.3045, one needs only to make “plainly audible” sounds from a distance greater than 25 feet.
According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, “plainly audible” means:
“The officer need not determine the particular words or phrases being produced or the name of any song or artist producing the sound. The detection of a rhythmic bass reverberating type sound is sufficient to constitute a plainly audible sound.”
For being too noisy, you could be fined as much as $115. If they find something else in your car, you might go to jail. This is a proud victory for the get-off-my-lawn demographic and will certainly curry favor with that elderly voting bloc.
(They changed what it was.)
As a lifelong music snob, I’m no fan of being subjected to other people’s horrible taste in music. There is nothing more offensive to me than people who bring their speakers with them to the beach and play shit like Glass Animals or the latest algorithmic pop song TikTok tricked them into liking. You'd think I might even appreciate this new rule. But this law is sinister.
Police will love this law for the same reasons they love anti-cannabis laws. The reason cops want to keep cannabis illegal is not because it’s a harmful narcotic. It’s because it gives law enforcement probable cause. All a cop has to do in order to search your car is say that he smelled marijuana. Can’t do that with meth or coke or Fentanyl. Seat belt laws are bullshit, too. While that law might have been implemented to protect people, in the state of Florida, you are up to four times more likely to get pulled over for not being buckled up if you are black. Can you guess how they’re going to use this new “loud music law?" How does a cop know what 25 feet even looks like?
Don’t worry. The cops told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel they’re gonna be fair. “The law will be applied...impartially to anyone driving a motor vehicle in Broward County,” a Broward police department spokesman said. Capt. Tim McCarthy of the Fort Lauderdale police said, “The law does not target any person in particular. Loud music or amplified sound in violation of the statute is what is targeted.” What a relief!
But even if cops fairly enforce this law, it’s gonna end up in the courts. Ten years ago, this exact law was ruled unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court. They said it was a violation of the first amendment, especially since businesses and politicians were exempt from the law.
And our courts are already full of expensive and unnecessary litigation as it is. In fact, under Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida has one of the highest legal bills in country.
RON DESANTIS: “God’s gift to lawyers.”
Since entering office, DeSantis has spent taxpayer cash on poorly thought out laws with the kind of reckless financial abandoned you’d expect from a coked out crypto freak after an Elon Musk tweet about dogecoin.
Because there is little to no government oversight on private attorney fees, we don’t know the exact amount paid, but some contracts and purchase orders are made available. The Orlando Sentinel found that in just five cases, DeSantis's legal bills totaled more than $5.8 million. Remember the voting law that Floridians passed overwhelmingly that enfranchised felons after they served their time? DeSantis hired private attorneys to the tune of $2.8 million to successfully undo that law. This doesn’t include the many upcoming legal battles the state of Florida will have with Disney and the “Don’t Say Gay” law that promise to cost even more.
Exorbitant legal expenses aren’t unusual in Florida. Between 2011 and 2017, Florida spent over $253 million on private attorney fees. That’s on top of the $309-million-a-year legal budget overseen by the Attorney General. Crazier still, there is no one in the state government who tracks what private attorneys’ hourly rates add up to.
But what is particularly unusual about the way DeSantis finances his litigation is the closeness he has with certain law firms. One law firm in particular, the Washington DC-based Cooper & Kirk, is particularly favored by DeSantis. Adam Laxalt, one of the firm’s superstar attorneys, was once DeSantis’s roommate when they were in officer training school together at Naval Justice School. Laxalt is now running for U.S. Senate in Nevada, and DeSantis has happily endorsed him:
(I can't get over how DeSantis pronounces his last name.)
Laxalt’s hourly wage is listed at $995 an hour. Michael Kirk, one of the firm's partners, charges $1245 an hour. Because of DeSantis’s profligate legal habit, law professor Bob Jarvis of Nova Southeastern University called the governor “God’s gift to lawyers.”
But this will likely all work out just fine for DeSantis. He gets to pass ridiculous and unenforceable laws that will jam up courts and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, but it’s all perfectly suited to the culture wars of today. It pisses off the people who get pissed off, and that pleases his base.
But until we spend another unnecessary wad of cash on a mostly arbitrary, unconstitutional and unenforceable law, we still stand the chance of getting arrested for listening to our music too loud. Imagine being the one person who decides to stand up for the First Amendment and against this stupid law. Your case goes all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. But what if the song you are arrested for is incredibly embarrassing?
Here are Apocalypse Florida’s Top 5 Worst Songs to Have to Go to Jail For:
#5: Cops Intro Theme Song -- "Bad Boys"
You’re really just asking for it here. This is the soundtrack to 85 percent of police abuse. It’s like "Weekend at Bernie’s" but instead of a dead guy becoming reanimated by bad white reggae, it’s a bunch of angry cops getting triggered into hate crimes.
#4: Lil John and Ice Cube -- "Real N*ggas Roll Call"
This has the most n-bombs of any song to date. If you are white and caught listening to this song, people are gonna wonder how closely you sang along to the lyrics.
#3: Village People -- "YMCA"
I like this song. I really do. But I recently learned from former President Donald Trump that it is the “gay national anthem” and I have a flimsy enough reputation as it is.
#2: Black Eyed Peas - "Let’s Get Retarded"
This song came out in 2003 and then they had to change it to “Let’s Get it Started” because of the slur. That means in order to listen to the original version of the song, you have to either have the original CD or you were looking for it specifically.
But it could be any song, really. The Black Eyed Peas is one of those musical groups who had to have made some kind of Faustian bargain. Their success makes no sense. A lot of “bad” music gets a sort of half-serious, half-ironic renaissance, like when nu-metal made a comeback, but I can’t see the Black Eyed Peas ever being liked in earnest. And yet 90 percent of us can sing half their discography. It really is amazing.
#1 -- Racist Parasocial Podcasts
(I'd just die if I got caught listening to Red Scare in public)
A lot of us listen to them, and I hate admitting that I do. For those of you who don’t know what a parasocial podcast is, it's like eavesdropping on a group of friends shooting the shit, and you feel like you are part of the group, except no one talks to you and you talk to no one, but you know all the inside jokes as if you were an integral part of it.
Bonus: Kate Bush -- "Running up the Hill"
I can’t believe how much I hate hearing this song now. Kate Bush is being sweet and letting everyone enjoy it, but TikTok has completely ruined this song that I used to really like. It'll take at least five years for me to ever want to listen to it again.
If you're enjoying yourself, lemme get $5.