County Executive John R. Leopold Takes Steps Towards Noise Abatement
Annapolis (July 6, 2007) - County Executive John R. Leopold announced today that he has made a decibel meter available to the Police Department and directed Chief of Police James Teare to devise and implement operational policies for its use in abating noise violations.
"I consider noise to be both a public health problem as well as a quality of life issue," said County Executive Leopold. "As a Delegate to the General Assembly, I sponsored legislation that was enacted that made decibel meters available to the various Maryland counties for the purpose of noise abatement. I believe decibel meters can be used to reinforce enforcement efforts and can be an effective tool in our fight to improve the public health and to make our communities more pleasant places to live."
Current County law is intended to protect residential districts by prohibiting, at all times, the use or operation of amplified musical instruments, radios, tape players and similar sound devices at an unreasonably loud volume. The law also prohibits the use of a musical instrument, machine, tool or other similar device at an unreasonable volume between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
Under the County Executive’s directive, the Police Department’s plan would maximize the use of the decibel meter when responding to complaints in order to enforce the existing county noise law. Specifically, meters would be used to document volumes, thereby providing valuable corroborating evidence which would be used in support of the testimony made by county officers in noise infraction cases.
Under current law, a person who is charged with a noise violation is subject to a $500 civil fine and up to 30 days in jail.
Anyone who wishes to report a potential noise violation can call the appropriate local police district or (410) 222-8610.