SWFL drivers could face a fine for playing loud music

Published: June 30, 2022 3:58 PM EDT
Updated: June 30, 2022 6:22 PM EDT

Drivers in Southwest Florida will soon be fined for playing music too loud in the car beginning on July 1.

The new law makes it illegal to play music loud enough to be heard from farther than 25 feet away.

How will police enforce this law? It’s all in the ears. There’s no exact meter or tool police officers or sheriff’s deputies will use. If they can hear the music from just 25 feet away, that’s all they need to issue a driver or warning or ticket.

Fort Myers police say the law is good because when the music’s too loud it can slow down first responders.

“You’re going to see a fire truck and ambulance or everything, any type of distraction like that, yes, can hinder, you know, life-saving measures? And it does,” said Fort Myers Police Public Information Officer Kristen Capuzzi.

Glen Griffith, the manager of Auto Sound in Cape Coral, helps make things loud for a living. He doesn’t think the law will change much as most of his customers don’t supe up the sound anymore.

“It has just kind of moved on from the base competitions and all that. And it just now it’s, you know, they want to actually hear the lyrics, you know, instead of just having, you know, a bass cannon in their vehicle,” said Griffith. “Some of those systems can get very, very loud. And, you know, somebody may not hear, you know, emergency vehicle.”

Griffith doesn’t think Florida’s new loud music law will be a problem for most of his customers. Most of them seem to care more about quality, not volume.

“Every once in a blue moon will do somebody that wants to just be seen by every and heard by everybody, but very, very little,” said Griffith.

The one thing Griffith worries about is how the law will be enforced.

Without using a decibel meter, how can law enforcement say with certainty that the music is too loud?

“There’s different variables, depending on if you’re in between, you know, buildings, and it’s echoing off the building, you know, and it can travel further, depending on the situation. I hope they take that into consideration,” said Griffith.

Cape Coral Police Sergeant Julie Green said when it comes to enforcement, officers will ease people into it.

“Probably within the first 30 days, we’ll use it as an education because there might be some people out there that do not know about the new law. Obviously, ignorance isn’t an excuse. But we’ll take that into account,” said Green.

The law says the music is too loud if you can hear it from 25 feet away. Critics say that’s too vague.

“A lot of variables can go into that,” said Griffith.

Ultimately, Griffith predicts the law won’t get hardcore “Bass heads” to turn the music down anytime soon.

“Nobody wants to be told what to do. Especially those new generation,” said Griffith.

Drivers should be especially careful when driving by churches, schools or hospitals. Getting a ticket for playing music too loud in your car will cost you $114.