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As Temperature Increase, Police Warn of Increasing Noise Violations 4-6-15

As warmer temperatures arrive this spring, the City of Dover Police Department will begin to receive a high number calls for excessively loud music/noise coming from vehicles and loud parties.  The department is reminding the public that audible music and bass outside of 50 feet is illegal and can result in fines ranging from $50-$107.  If a person is renting a residence and receives 2 or more noise violations within a 12 month period, they are subject to mandatory eviction as well.  Members of the Community Policing/Quality of Life Unit will proactively enforce these violations, especially in the downtown college, residential, and shopping districts in an effort to educate the public and improve the quality of life for the citizens in those areas.  We ask that while you enjoy the season, be mindful of others on the road and the neighbors surrounding you.

Delaware State Law:

  • Title 21, Section 4306 (c) No person operating or occupying a motor vehicle on any street, highway, alley, or parking lot shall operate or permit the operation of any music amplification system, including, but not limited to, any radio, tape player, compact disc player, or any other electrical device used for the amplification of music in or on the motor vehicle so that the sound is plainly audible at a distance of 50 or more feet from the vehicle. For the purpose of this subsection, “plainly audible” means any sound which clearly can be heard by unaided hearing faculties, however, words or phrases need not be discernible and bass reverberation alone shall be sufficient to so constitute.

Dover City Ordinance:

Sec. 42-2. – Noise.

 (a)Generally. It shall be unlawful for any person to make or continue, or cause to be made or continued, any excessive, unreasonable or unusually loud noise or any noise which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others, or creates the risk thereof, within the limits of the city.

(b)Prohibited acts. The following acts, among others, are declared to be loud, disturbing and unreasonable noises in violation of this section, but said enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive:

(1)Horns, signaling devices, etc. The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle, street car or other vehicle on any street or public place of the city, except as a danger warning; the creation by means of any such signaling device of any unreasonably loud or harsh sound; the sounding of any such device for an unreasonable period of time; the use of any signaling device, except one operated by hand or electricity; the use of any horn, whistle or other device operated by engine exhaust; and the use of any such signaling device when traffic is for any reason held up.

(2)Radios, phonographs, etc. The playing, using or operating of, or permitting to be played, used or operated, any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph, or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound in such a manner as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of the neighboring inhabitants or at any time with louder volume than is necessary for convenient hearing for the person or persons who are in the room, vehicle or chamber in which such machine or device is operated and who are voluntary listeners thereto. The operation of any such set, instrument, phonograph, machine or device in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from the building, structure or vehicle in which it is located shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this subsection.

(3)Loudspeakers, amplifiers for advertising. The playing, using or operating of, or permitting to be played, used, or operated, any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph, loudspeaker, sound amplifier, or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound which is cast upon the public streets for the purpose of commercial advertising or attracting the attention of the public to any building or structure unless authorized by a permit.