Sarasota Noise Ordinance Revision sign now

In May of 2008, the Sarasota government greatly increased the penalties and ramifications for having loud music. Every day, innocent people are being fined and taken advantage of, and perhaps even having their vehicles towed because of the new ordinance.

Audio performance costs money. Money that YOU earned, and worked hard for. It is your car you're putting sound equipment in, but according to the government, none of that is relevant because they are not only limiting the experience you worked hard for, but they are punishing people for it as well.

We want this to change.

How it stands:

Targeted towards drivers with music audible from 25 feet away.

These fines do NOT include the impound fee, which would be around $130.
$74 fine for a first time offender.
$250 fine for a second time offender.
Up to a $500 fine for a third time offender.
An officer has the authority to tow your car, no questions asked, no matter how many times you have broken this "law".

First off, sound is NOT measured using a distance unit. Sound is measured by decibels. The fact that this law is completely reliant on the honesty of the officer by judging distance is not only unsettling and intimidating, but flat-out draconian and irresponsible. It may also come as a surprise to some people that we all hear DIFFERENTLY. Something 25 feet away might not be as loud or audible to you as the person right next to you.

If we, the people who enjoy using the things we buy with our own money, are being discriminated against, then why not ticket and tow the elderly for driving too slow? Why not ticket the country boys for lifting their trucks or covering them in mud? Tow Mr. Smith's BMW because it's too nice.

We will spend and utilize our possessions the way they were intended.

What we want:

The ordinance revised and/or abolished.

The revision would include:

-A more trustworthy, reliable system of measuring sound/noise. A 25-ft "grace-space" is like saying that I stepped on the scale today and I weigh 4 Liters.

-Zoning and Split Time - Residential neighborhoods, time of day ordinance is/is not in effect ie: 10am - 10pm, etc.

-More leniency - You want to tow my car because my music is loud? First time DUI offenders usually don't even get their vehicles towed. But you want to take my car because my music is loud. Sounds about right.

This ordinance is not only unconstitutional but personally invasive, and we would like to see it changed.

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Glenn RodgersBy:
People and OrganizationsIn:
Petition target:
Sarasota City Commission

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