New Orleans tour guides don't want license rules

September 6, 2012 - 2:37 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Several New Orleans tour guides have asked a federal judge to bar the city from enforcing licensing regulations requiring them to pass a history exam, drug test and criminal background check.

U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan didn't immediately rule Thursday after hearing arguments in a lawsuit filed on behalf of four guides who claim the rules violate their free speech rights.

A city attorney asked Morgan to dismiss the suit, arguing the regulations are designed to protect the public.

Tour guides only have to take the history test once, but they must pass a new drug test and background check every two years to renew their license.

Unlicensed tour guides can be punished with fines of $300 per infraction and up to five months in jail.