Some types of bothersome or irritating noise are illegal, and you can take steps to get the noisemaker to quiet down. Generally speaking, noises are too loud if you can plainly hear them at the property line if they're inside a building or 50 feet away if they're outside.
Some excessive noises are regulated by the police:
- Noisy parties in private homes or apartments
- Radios, paging systems, musical instruments or other similar machines must not be too loud after 10:00 pm.
- Noise from a bar or similar business, including noisy patrons outside the bar, may be not just noise but disorderly conduct.
- Vehicle noises may be illegal if they are from noisy mufflers, no exhaust system, car stereos, or other vehicles that make very loud grating, grinding, or rattling noises. This applies to defective loads or honking the horn for reasons other than emergencies.
- Owners or operators of vehicles with booming stereos may be fined up to $500 for a second offense for playing music loud enough to be heard at a distance of 50 feet.
- The police can write a citation or correction order that a vehicle be repaired. In most cases, the police have to hear the noise in order to tag the vehicle.
- If the car with the noisy muffler belongs to your neighbor, you can also call the police with a complaint and they can come out, inspect it, and possibly tag it. The police may ask you to sign a complaint about the vehicle.
- For barking dogs (e.g., owner lets the dog bark) (see DOGS)
- Domestic power tools such as saws, drills, lawnmowers, and snowblowers must be quiet between 10:00 pm and 7:00 am.
Making a Noise Complaint
To file a noise complaint, call the Police
at (651) 291-1111. When you call the Police for these noises, an officer can come out to quiet the noise. However, depending upon work-load, there may be a delay in response time.
Sound Level Limits
For any kind of loud, persistent noise, day or night (e.g. from machinery, construction, or a business), state and local sound level limits may apply. These noise limits are stricter for residential areas, especially at night, than for commercial or industrial areas.
Call the City at (651) 266-8989 about noise which may be louder than these limits. An inspector may contact the operator, come out with a sound meter, measure the loudness and duration of the sound, and determine whether there is a violation. If there is a violation, the City may negotiate with the responsible person on ways to lower the noise level. They can also issue orders and enforce the noise limits.
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