Hello, I lIve in Kailua on xxxxx st. I am so tired of the booming loud car stereos. All hour of the day and night, but particularly during peak traffic time. Sometimes the walls of my house vibrate so bad you think the things will start to fall off of the shelves. Please keep me informed on what's happening on these noise laws. It's getting out of control.
Quieter O'ahu Response:
Thanks for your note and believe me, we appreciate your frustration. The issue of loud and obnoxious "Boom Cars" is that we have easily enforceable legislation "on the books" today and HPD simply refuses to enforce. Specifically, the ordinance is:
Hawai'i Law - ROH Sec. 41-31.1 Prohibited Noise.
(a) It is unlawful for any person or persons to play, use, operate or permit to be played, used or operated, any radio, tape recorder, cassette player or other machine or device for reproducing sound, if it is located in or on any of the following:
(1) Any public property, including any public street, highway, building, sidewalk, park or thoroughfare; or
(2) Any motor vehicle on a public street, highway or public space; and if the sound generated is audible at a distance of 30 feet from the device producing the sound.
(b) Possession by a person or persons of any of the machines or devices enumerated in subsection (a) shall be prima facie evidence that person operates, or those persons operate, the machine or device.
(Added by Ord. 90-26)
Sec. 41-31.2 Enforcement.
(a) Powers of Arrest or Citation. Any authorized police officer shall issue a citation for any violation under this article, except they may arrest for instances when:
(1) The alleged violator refuses to provide the officer with such person's name and address and any proof thereof as may be reasonably available to the alleged violator.
(2) When the alleged violator refuses to cease such person's illegal activity after being issued a citation.
(1) There shall be provided for use by authorized police officers, a form of citation for use in citing violators of this article which does not mandate physical arrest of such violators. The form and content of such citation shall be as adopted or prescribed by the administrative judge of the district court and shall be printed on a form commensurate with the form of other citations used in modern methods of arrest, so designed to include all necessary information to make the same valid within the laws and regulations of the State of Hawaii and the City and County of Honolulu.
(2) In every case when a citation is issued, a copy of the same shall be given to the violator.
(3) Every citation shall be consecutively numbered and each carbon copy shall bear the name of its respective original.
(Added by Ord. 90-26)
Sec. 41-31.3 Violation--Penalty.
Any person convicted of a violation of the provisions of this article shall be punished by a fine of $100.00 for the first offense, $500.00 for the second offense within six months of the first offense, and $1,000.00, or forfeiture of the sound system or components of the sound system up to $1,000.00 in value, or a combination of forfeiture and fine to total $1,000.00 for conviction of the third offense within one year of the first offense. (Added by Ord. 90-26)
So as you can see, no exotic sound measuring equipment or interpretation of decibels is required, only that the sound is "audible" from a distance of 30 feet from the source. And the penalties are fairly stiff, particularly for repeat offenders and could lead to the seizure of the stereo system.
So why doesn't HPD enforce this law? They cite "officer's discretion" and "too difficult to prove" in court. Of course the counter is "What's so hard about measuring 30 feet?" Too, some of you may remember back in 2011 there was an attempt to curb these loud stereos. A bill was introduced by Representative Oshiro. But in the end, Rep Oshiro, like many others, caved to the vendors of high-powered stereos and speakers. You can review our post on that topic at http://www.quieteroahu.com/our-noise-blog/first-post
This is a question that should be posed to every member of City Council, and asked at every Neighborhood Board meeting. The law is there; the enforcement is not.