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Subject Judge issues injunction banning Missouri town from arresting people who flash headlights as warning
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Original Message ST. LOUIS A federal judge on Monday 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 speed traps.

The order by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey in St. Louis stems from a lawsuit filed by Ellisville resident Michael Elli. On Nov. 17, 2012, Elli flashed his headlights to warn oncoming vehicles of a radar set up by Ellisville police. A flash of headlights is a common way motorists communicate to oncoming drivers of either a dangerous situation or the presence of police in essence, a warning to slow down.

An officer saw the flash and pulled over Elli, who could have faced a fine of up to $1,000 if convicted. The charge was later dismissed.

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


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