1/30/2006St. Louis Passes Sweeping Car Confiscation Ordinance
A new St. Louis, Missouri ordinance allows police to confiscate luxury automobiles with high-end stereos.
Legislation approved by the St. Louis, Missouri Board of Aldermen on Friday would authorize police to seize a broad range of luxury automobiles such as the $69,000 Lexus LS sedan. The Lexus, which is offered with an optional 11-speaker sound system, runs afoul of the new law that makes it a crime to "possess or operate" a vehicle with more than ten speakers within city limits.
Automakers such as Audi, BMW and Porsche offer as many as fourteen speakers as part of standard or optional audio packages. Even the $23,000 Toyota RAV4 is available with a 440-watt sound system that violates a provision against having "more than 300 watts of output."
Alderman Craig Schmid introduced the ordinance as an "emergency" measure in May to address the problem of loud music on the highways. It also authorizes automobile confiscation for littering and soliciting prostitution. Under the ordinance, a car will be taken away upon accusation and before any finding of guilt by a judge or jury. There may be no hearing on the matter for as long as a week and the automobile will be held thereafter until the police deem "the motor vehicle is no longer necessary for prosecution." Expensive towing fees, storage fees and fines must be paid before the car is released. If signed by Mayor Francis Slay, it becomes law immediately.
A full copy of the ordinance is available in a 10k PDF file at the source link below.