Honking Your Car Horn ≠ Free Speech

The Seattle Times reports on a Washington State woman who challenged a noise ordinance that prohibited prolonged honking of a car horn on First Amendment grounds, and lost. The defendant argued that the ordinance was “vague, overbroad and interfered with her right to free speech.” She had been charged with violating the noise ordinance for parking in front of a neighbor’s house and leaning on the horn for 10 minutes at 6:00 AM, leaving, and coming back an hour later to do it again.

The Washington Court of Appeals held that

Horn honking which is done to annoy or harass others is not speech.

The case is State v. Immelt, No. 60991-2-I (Wash. Ct. App. 2009).

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