Judge strikes down ban on swearing
Published 10/01/2011 | 13:01
A North Carolina judge has struck down a 98-year-old state ban on public profanity.
Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour dismissed a misdemeanour charge against Chapel Hill resident Samantha Elabanjo.
She had been convicted in July of using the word "damn" during a confrontation with police officers.
Mr Baddour ruled the law against indecent or profane language within earshot of two or more people on any public road in North Carolina was unconstitutionally vague.
The case started last February when Ms Elabanjo stepped into the road as a police car drove by. The two officers asked her to get back on to the pavement.
She did, but said: "You need to clean up your damn, dirty car" while still in the road. She then called the officers a vulgar name and she was arrested.