Minneapolis cops can ticket you for having car stereo turned up too loud, appeals court rules

Categories: Law
carmusic.jpg
Don't want a ticket? Be sure to turn the bass down on that Tupac track before cops picture you rolling down Lake Street.
It's not just annoying -- it's criminal.

SEE ALSO: Minnesota Supreme Court rules you can legally drunk-drive Segways

Yesterday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that Minneapolis police can indeed ticket you for blasting your car stereo too loudly.

The specific case before the appeals court concerned Marlin McElroy, who was ticketed by an MPD officer for having a "loud bass sound" emanating from his vehicle that could be heard more than 150 feet away. McElroy's ticket cited a city ordinance prohibiting "the operation of any electronic device used for the amplification of music or other entertainment, which is located within a motor vehicle being operated on a public street or alley, or in commercial or residential parking facilities, which is audible by any person from a distance of fifty (50) feet or more from the vehicle."

But as MPR's Bob Collins writes, McElroy's attorney argued "the ordinance is vague because there was only one listener -- the police officer -- and that no one standing on the street testified the music was audible. But the ordinance only requires that it be audible by any person."

In the end, the majority opinion authored by Judge Renee L. Worke ruled that there's no legal problem with the limiting the volume of music emanating from vehicles as long as ordinance doesn't outright ban any and all amplification.

"[T]he appellant's enjoyment of music or entertainment is not prohibited [when a volume limit is imposed]. Further, the government has a legitimate interest in controlling the noise level on streets," Judge Worke wrote. "[L]imiting the amplification of sound protects the peace and quiet of other persons also using the sidewalks and streets."


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