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Judge rules against headlight-flashing law

Monday, February 3, 2014 | 2:27 p.m. CST; updated 5:24 p.m. CST, Monday, February 3, 2014

ST. LOUIS — A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the St. Louis County town of Ellisville from arresting and prosecuting drivers who flash headlights to warn other drivers of nearby police and radar.

The order Monday by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey in St. Louis stems from a lawsuit filed by Ellisville resident Michael Elli. In 2012, Elli flashed his headlights to warn oncoming vehicles of radar.

An officer pulled over Elli, who was charged and could have faced a $1,000 fine. The charge was eventually dismissed.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued, claiming Elli's arrest violated his First Amendment right to free speech.

Ellisville City Attorney George Restovich said the city changed the policy a year ago and no longer pulls over people for flashing headlights.


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