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Florida’s new “turn it down” law could affect Car Karaoke and bass competitions

Photo by Jacob Jolibois on Unsplash

BY GABRIELLA WITKOWICH

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Car Karaoke may come to an end with Florida’s new “turn it down” law. The newly introduced law prevents an individual’s car music from being heard more than 25 feet away. 

The Florida Legislature passed a law in January that states it is unlawful for anyone’s car music to be so loud that it can be heard more than 25 feet away. The law went into effect July 1.

Graham Glover, the public information officer for the Gainesville Police Department, said this law will be enforced like any other throughout the state of Florida. “This is not a local ordinance, I think there has been a little bit of confusion in the community that this is a local thing,” Glover said.

Throughout July, the Gainesville Police Department plans to educate the public about this new law. Glover said that police officers will be making traffic stops and telling individuals about the new law. After Aug. 1, drivers can expect to receive warnings and tickets.

A violation of this law will be considered a moving violation; moving violations are traffic violations when a driver does not follow the traffic law while the vehicle is in motion. Moving violations can include speeding, running a red light, and texting while driving.

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Fines for moving violations in Alachua County can range from $100 to up to $600 depending on the situation. Glover said that any new law will be enforced by Gainesville Police Department.

Retired NYC police officer: Law will be hard to enforce

Andy Fontanez is a 52-year-old Florida resident and retired New York police officer. He has lived and worked in New York City and is passionate about law enforcement. “There are loud trucks that go through my neighborhood all the time,” Fontanez said, “but I’m from New York City where everything is loud.” 

Fontanez said this law will not be effective and will be hard to enforce. Coming from New York City, Fontanez knows how hard it is to enforce laws. “The only way I can see this law being enforced is if an officer is out there measuring the decibels of sound coming from an individual’s car,” Fontanez said. 

Following the law and being an active citizen is something that Fontanez prides himself on. Fontanez said there are more important situations that need to be enforced instead of monitoring whether an individual’s music is too loud. “Many people enjoy nice sound systems, and it doesn’t bother me,” Fontanez said. 

Bass competitions will also be affected

Bass competitions allow individuals to display sound systems and share information with other enthusiasts. Patrick Patella is an 18-year-old Florida resident who participates in car shows and bass competitions throughout the state.

Patella said that these competitions are events that Floridians enjoy. The competitions create a friendly atmosphere where everyone supports each other, Patella said. 

Patella has 1200-watt sub woofers that can be heard from approximately half a mile away. He purchased his subwoofers from Best Buy in 2020, for $1,500. “I’m glad I bought them when I did,” Patella said.

This law prohibits sound that can be heard from a vehicle 25 feet away in places adjoining schools, hospitals, and churches. This will affect the location of competitions due to the loud sounds these events produce. 

These competitions are often held in parking lots and bring large crowds. Vendors take turns hosting these events throughout the state and at various locations. Patella said these events bring people together from across the state and beyond. Multiple cars competing will create tremendously loud sounds that will be heard from miles away, Patella said.

Patella said that this new law does not just affect the car community and bass competitions, but also every Florida car owner. He thinks that this new law creates additional stress on the driver by constantly worrying if other people can hear the driver’s music. Patella feels as though his freedom of expression is being infringed upon due to this new law. “I feel like many Florida laws need to be passed before passing a new law about something so insignificant,” Patella said. “This new law is unnecessary and invasive.” 

  • Not everyone wants to hear that racket and if you ask for it to be turned down you get verbally assaulted.

    My Eardrums Matter.

    • You have every right to wear ear plugs if you don’t like it, if this is the case no vehicle period should be heard 25 ft away, why only bass, hell it needs to be exhaust, semis, dump trucks, trains, buses, motorcycles, horns, might as well outlaw horns, Jesus man just what we need is more freedom taken away

  • I’m sure this law wouldn’t be used by cops to pull over folks to get a look / sniff inside the vehicle? Maybe a little racial profiling? Violation of 14th Ammendment?
    I’m no fan of loud cars, especially ones playing music with profanity around kids, but this one isn’t going to last long. Cops WILL abuse it to target / profile and there will be lawsuits. (as there should be)

  • Awww, the poor victims are already crying foul ball.
    You’re a selfish,insecure moron to blast everyone around you,especially if you have speakers outside your car.
    Hey look at me! I’m sorely lacking in self esteem so I need to prove it to you!
    Pathetic sense of dignity!

    • Sounds like u lack self esteem bud. Really that pressed about something that is fun for younger people sounds a bit selfish to me, just using your words though.

  • A total display of selfish, insecure and obnoxious behavior
    Are you so lacking in your personal life that you insist on bothering others?
    What a dork!

    • Sounds like you are the insecure one why be so mad about something that brings the youth community together

  • You can be reasonably sure the perps will not be playing Beethoven Bach or Mozart on their sound systems.

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