"Cruising" has become a recent trend mostly for American youths who own or have access to automobiles. The practice essentially consists of driving slowly around a set "loop" of streets in an urban area, especially during evenings, weekends, or other free time. Crusing activities include talking between automobiles at stoplights, stopping randomly to greet acquaintances on the street, or engaging in similar social activities.
Why Is Cruising Prohibited?
For the most part, "cruising" causes a variety of problems ranging from traffic congestion to delay for those with legitimate business in the area. Some communities have enacted ordinances against "cruising" for a number of reasons. These include:
- In the interest of public safety
- As a measure to control unruly behavior
- To prevent excessive noise pollution
- To insure sufficient access for emergency vehicles to and through designated city roads
Are Cruising Ordinances Valid?
Generally, "cruising" ordinances are dictated through local law. Courts have regularly stated that these regulations must meet two common criteria:
- The ordinance must be specific enough so as not to be overbroad.
- There must be a rational basis for why the ordinance is needed.
If these two standards are not met, courts have ruled that the ordinance is unconstitutional, thus invalidating the ordinance.
Should I Seek an Attorney?
There are many requirements and steps in proposing or opposing a new ordinance. A skilled attorney with a background in government law will surely be beneficial in this process to ensure that the procedure is complete and accurate. Also, if you are arrested for cruising, you will likely need an experienced criminal defense lawyer.