Making 'Unreasonably Loud Noise' is Now an Arrestable Offense
The Disorderly Conduct Amendment Act of 2010 went into effect 12 a.m. Feb. 1.
Should a DC Metropolitan Police Department officer notice or hear your unreasonably loud party or find you with your car stereo cranked up too loud while parked on a public street between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., you could be arrested. The Disorderly Conduct Amendment Act of 2010 (see PDF) went into effect as of 12 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1, giving police officers the ability to make an arrest for disorderly conduct, such as loud noises, without a 911 call or neighbor complaint, according to Lieutenant John Hedgecock of Georgetown's PSA 206.
The amendment expands the definition of disorderly conduct to include:
...engaging in loud, threatening, or abusive language, or disruptive conduct, with the intent and effect of impeding or disrupting the orderly conduct of a lawful gathering of people on public property that is open to the public, making unreasonably loud noise between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. that is likely to annoy or disturb other persons in their residences...
Hedgecock spoke at the ANC2E meeting Monday evening about the new legal development. The Act applies to commercial and residential properties. The officer has to personally observe an offense and enforcement is at the discretion of the individual officer.
"We plan on enforcing the law," said Hedgecock, after all, "we've been known to have a few house parties [in Georgetown." The Lieutenant added the caveat that he could not "promise that each and every incident will result in an arrest."
If arrested an individual could face 90 days in prison and/or a $500 fine.