Florida drivers could get ticketed for playing music too loud starting Friday

Author: Jacqueline Quynh / CBS
A new law that goes into effect on Friday will require more Florida drivers to turn down the volume of their music or face fines.
A Florida law enforcement officer crosses the street to approach a stopped vehicle. Credit: CBS Miami

A new law that goes into effect on Friday will require more Florida drivers to turn down the volume of their music or face fines.

Back in 2012, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a noise ordinance restricting “plainly” audible music was vague and unconstitutional. That law also excluded ice cream trucks and political campaign messages. The new law has updated language and has removed those exclusions.

“Noise tends to ricochet around buildings, and people like to relax in their homes, and they have their sliders open,” Fort Lauderdale Police Department Capt. Tim McCarthy said.

FLPD has been getting complaints about loud music all over the city but starting July 1 drivers could face being ticketed for $114.

“We don’t need a decibel meter, we just need to need to hear it greater than 25 feet, you see how loud it is with traffic going by, try to put a decibel meter out here. How could you prove that any one source was responsible for the sound you heard? So, we’re going to enforce something that is practical,” McCarthy said.

This is also where body cameras will come in especially useful for officers.

“We do have body-worn cameras; if it was on, it could be used in court because you could obviously hear the audio of our body-worn camera,” McCarthy added.

The change was designed with the public’s wellbeing in mind.

CBS4 talked with some around Bo’s Beach where drivers routinely play music while cruising on A1A, and some do feel it can be a disturbance.

“We can’t go that fast and they come by or we’re going the same speed blaring the music it’s crazy, they got speakers as big as you,” Tony Roderick a bicyclist said.

Another man, Anthony Keathley sometimes enjoys loud music but agrees with the law.

“I mean a limit that’s too loud, you want to have fun, enjoy your time, but you don’t want to be obnoxious,” he said.

Meanwhile, the law is another reason people may get pulled over.

“I purposely tell the kids ‘Hey, don’t draw attention to yourself, blaring music is a great attention-getter,’ so, I like to warn them because now we have reasons to stop them, don’t give us a reason to stop them,” Schoen said.

There will be a two-week warning period, but the law goes into effect on July 1.

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