A DRIVER facing court for sounding a Dixie Land-themed air horn in his car while transporting a couple to their wedding reception has been told the case has been dropped.
Wayne Duke, who owns a 1969 Dodge Charger - the kind used in the Dukes of Hazzard TV show - was stopped by police in Weymouth as he drove Ali and Paul Bartlett to a country music reception.
The couple had just been married at Portland Castle. But hearing the horn, Dorset Police pulled over the car and told Mr Duke that dual tone horns could only be used by emergency services.
Mr Duke, from Wimborne, was given a summons to attend court.
He has now been contacted by Dorset Police to say he no longer has to attend court. It is believed the horn is not illegal because the car was built before 1973.
Delivery driver Mr Duke, 43, had thought the case might not get far as he understood the Road Traffic Act which applies to air horns covers vehicles made from 1973 onwards – his car dates from 1969.
The car is similar to the one used in the TV show and fan Mr Duke has always wanted to own one.
As well as taking it to car shows and charity events, the vehicle is available for hire for weddings.
Mr Duke said he found the whole episode of being stopped by the police ‘bizarre’ as he has owned the car for six years and never had any problems.
Mr Duke said: “They couldn’t prove that I had sounded the horn, only that I had the equipment fitted which they said was illegal.
“But the law applies to cars from 1973 and mine is older than that.
“An officer phoned me up and said he was ripping up the summons. He mentioned all the publicity the story had received and it had been ‘bad press.’ He said I could pop down to the station and speak to a traffic officer about the case but I don’t think I’ll do that.
“Since the incident I took the compressor off so the horn can’t be used. I asked the officer if I could put it back again and he said ‘yes.’
He added: “As far as I know the air horn is legal. I’ve used the car for weddings and other special occasions and used the horn without problems and it’s passed the MOT without it being flagged up.
“The whole thing is bizarre. It was all a bit silly. In fact I thought it was like an episode from the Dukes of Hazzard.
“I don’t know why the police acted like they did in the first place. Maybe they had had a long day.
“I’m obviously delighted the case has been dropped. It’s good for everyone. I can laugh at it in the end.”
A Dorset Police spokesman said: “On review, the ticket has been cancelled by the inspector.”