Judge upholds Myrtle Beach's biker ordinances
Wed, 25 Feb 2009 00:17:46 GMT —
Tuesday, a couple tried to stop the city of Myrtle Beach from enforcing new laws aimed at bikers, just four days before they take effect.
Circuit Court Judge Michael Baxley denied their request.
Carol and William O'Day took issue with the new law requiring helmets to be worn inside Myrtle Beach city limits and the new noise ordinance that says vehicles can't idle louder than 89 decibels.
The O'Days and their lawyer argued both are unconstitutional because they differ from state law.
While Judge Baxley did say there are enforcement problems in the city's statutes, he didn't find proof they violated state law.
Williams O'Day says his fight isn't over yet. "We're not stopping, and if we don't get action here we're going to go on farther."
For now, the new laws stand. Starting Saturday, all riders must wear helmets that meet the city's requirements. A fact that has Mike McDonald, a local biker, questioning how he'll know if his helmet does.
"I have no way or knowing if my helmet is legal or not, so therefore I have no way of knowing if I'm abiding by the city laws."
The couple also challenged the system the city set up to prosecute helmet law offenders. Because the offense would be a civil infraction, not a criminal one, the city voted to create an administrative hearing process
The O'Days' attorney argued the system puts the burden of proof on the biker - not the system.
Judge Baxley also denied the O'Days request to stop the administrative hearing process.
O'Days' lawyer plans to appeal.
The couple plans to participate in a Helmet Freedom Ride this Saturday, when bikers will ride into Myrtle Beach city limits, protesting the new laws