Florida Man may need to rethink how loud he listens to tunes in his car. A state law went into effect on On July 1st which allows police to fine drivers for music that can be heard over 25 feet away from the vehicle. In some cases it may be even less if one is parked next to a church, school, or community building.
According to CS/HB 1435:
Code and Traffic Enforcement; Authorizes designation of special event zone; provides requirements & enhanced penalties for certain infraction; authorizes impound of motor vehicle of person who commits certain infraction or violation; limits impoundment term; requires motor vehicle to be released upon payment of impound costs & fees; authorizes sheriff to grant temporary authority to law enforcement officer; provides for recovery of costs & fees associated with designating & enforcing special event zone; revises types of soundmaking devices or instruments subject to prohibition against operating or amplifying sound from motor vehicle; prohibits operation or amplification in areas adjoining private residences.
Citizens are worried this means officers could use this as an excuse to pull them over for any little thing. Officers say they’ll err on the side of safety, because you can’t hear sirens if your music is too loud. But the real issue comes with them not using a decibel meter. Instead, they’ll be able to ticket drivers at their own discretion. It’s also unclear if this type of law would trickle down to private residences during daytime hours. There is usually a curfew for loud music and noise already in place, but if this is successful, they may also consider applying it elsewhere as well.
“We look for the more egregious violations, that you can pretty much hear coming from a block away,” Fort Lauderdale Police Capt. Tim McCarthy said to NBC Miami. “We are not trying to target someone trying to listen to music and have a good time,” Lt. Mike Crabb of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office told WESH.
So if your neighbor blasts music at a certain time of night when your kids are asleep, you could potentially tip off the local authorities. That wouldn’t be a very neighborly thing to do, but it could put a stop to the noise in your cul-de-sac?
Ticket fines will range from $114 – $116. The good news is getting ticketed for this won’t result in a mark on your licenses.