The Houston Sound Ordinance protects citizens from all types of noises, such as cars and other motor vehicles, music whether live or amplified through speakers, animals, and other loud activities like those produced at a shooting range. When a noise complaint is made to HPD, law enforcement officers can issue citations without sound meters or sound measuring devices. Previously, police officers had to conduct a sound reading to determine if sound levels were in violation of the Sound Ordinance. Now, any law enforcement officer is permitted to use their best judgment when determining if a noise is too loud.
How Loud Is Too Loud?
But how loud is too loud? (If it’s too loud, you’re too old!) Well, according to the Houston Sound Ordinance, sound cannot exceed 65 decibels during the day and 58 decibels at night in residential areas. Anything over this level requires a permit, and even with a permit there are restrictions. Permits can allow for sound up to 75 decibels until 10pm on Sundays through Thursdays and until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Violators of the Houston Sound Ordinance can find themselves facing hefty fees, paying up to $1,000 for the first offense.
Make Some Noise (How to Make A Noise Complaint)
Noise complaints can be made to the Houston Police Department’s non-emergency line at (713) 884-3131. HPD will then dispatch officers to address the complaint. Citizens should not hold back when reporting disruptive noises and protecting their rights. Under the Houston Sound Ordinance, it is “unlawful for any person to make, continue, or cause to be made or continued any loud, unnecessary, or unusual noise that annoys, disturbs, injures, or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace, or safety of others.”