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Headlight flashing prosecution prompts suit

Thursday, April 18, 2013 | 7:40 a.m. CDT; updated 10:36 a.m. CDT, Thursday, April 18, 2013

ST. LOUIS — A new lawsuit accuses police in the St. Louis County town of Ellisville of violating the rights of drivers by prosecuting those who flash headlights to warn other drivers of police presence and speed traps.

The American Civil Liberties Union said the suit was filed Tuesday on behalf of Michael Elli.

In November, Elli flashed his headlights at oncoming traffic and was pulled over by an Ellisville officer. Elli was cited for flashing lights to warn of radar ahead. The charge was eventually dismissed.

The ACLU said the prosecution violates the driver's First Amendment right to free speech.

A message seeking comment from Ellisville's city attorney was not returned.


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