Section 30.1 - Loud and Disturbing Noises Presumed Offensive

The following loud and disturbing noises and vibrations are presumed to be offensive to the ordinary sensibilities of the inhabitants of the City:

(1) The sounding of any horn or signal device on any automobile, motorcycle, bus, streetcar, or other vehicle, except as a danger signal, as required by law.

(2) The playing of any radio, phonograph, television, or musical instrument with such volume as to disturb the peace, quiet, comfort, or repose of persons in any dwelling, apartment, or other type of residence.

(3) The continuous barking, howling, crowing, or making of other loud noises by an animal for more than 15 minutes near a private residence that the animal's owner or person in control of the animal has no right to occupy.

(3) The loud grating, grinding, or rattling noise caused by the use of any automobile, motorcycle, bus, streetcar, or vehicle that is out of repair or poorly or improperly loaded.

(4) The blowing of any steam whistle attached to any stationary boiler, except to give notice of the time to begin or stop work or as a warning of danger.

(5) The discharge into the open air of any exhaust of any stationary steam engine, stationary internal combustion engine, or motor boat engine, except through a muffler or other device that will effectively and efficiently prevent loud and disturbing noises or vibrations.

(5) Any construction activity related to the erection, excavation, demolition, alteration, or repair of any building on or adjacent to a residential use, as defined in the Dallas Development Code, other than between the hours of 7:00 am and 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and between the hours of 8:00 am and 7:00 pm on Saturdays and legal holidays, except that the director of public works and transportation may issue a written permit to exceed these hours in the case of urgent necessity in the interest of public safety or for other reasons determined by the director of public works and transportation to be necessary for the public health, safety, or welfare. For purposes of this paragraph,
legal holidays include New Year's Day (Jan. 1), Memorial Day (observed date), Fourth of July (July 4), Labor Day (observed date), Thanksgiving Day (observed date), and Christmas Day (Dec 25).

(6) The shouting and crying of peddlers, hawkers, and vendors that disturb the quiet and peace of the neighborhood.

(7) The use of any drum or other instrument or sound amplifying equipment for the purpose of attracting attention by the creation of noise, to any performance, show, sale or display of merchandise as to attract customers to any place of business.

(8) The use of mechanical loudspeakers or sound amplifiers on trucks or other moving vehicles for the purpose of advertising any show, sales or display of merchandise.

(9) The collection of garbage, waste, or refuse between the hours of 10:00 pm and 7:00 am on or within 300 feet of any residential use, as defined in the Dallas Development Code.

(10) The operation of sound equipment, including a car stereo, in a motor vehicle in such a manner that the noise is so audible or causes such a vibration as to unreasonably disturb the peace, quiet, or comfort of another person.

SEC. 30-2.1. PRESUMPTION.

Whenever a violation of Section 30-2(11) of this chapter occurs, it is presumed that the registered owner of the vehicle for which the citation was issued is the person who committed the violation, either personally or through an agent or employee. Proof of ownership may be made by a computer-generated record of the registration of the vehicle with the Texas Department of Transportation showing the name of the person to whom state license plates were issued. This proof is prima facie evidence of the ownership of the vehicle by the person to whom the certificate of registration was issued. (Ord. Nos. 22094; 24835)

SEC. 30-3. USE OF BELL, SIREN, COMPRESSION, OR EXHAUST WHISTLE ON VEHICLES.

No vehicle shall be equipped with and no person shall use upon a vehicle any bell, siren, compression or exhaust whistle, except that vehicles operated in the performance of duty by law enforcement officers, fire department, and ambulances may attach and use a bell, siren, compression or exhaust whistle. (Ord. 13744)

SEC. 30-4. LOUDSPEAKERS AND AMPLIFIERS.

(a) A person commits an offense if he operates or causes to be operated any mechanical loudspeaker or sound amplifier in a public place or upon any public sidewalk, street, alley, or highway of the city in violation of any of the following limitations and requirements:

(1) No mechanical loudspeaker or sound amplifier may be operated within 150 feet of the property line of the premises of a residence, except between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and sunset, as designated by publication in a local newspaper of general circulation.

(2) A mechanical loudspeaker or sound amplifier may not emit loud and disturbing noises so as to interfere with the enjoyment of life or property or to interfere with public peace and comfort.

(3) A mechanical loudspeaker or sound amplifier must be operated so as not to cause traffic congestion or congregation of crowds that obstructs any public sidewalk, street, alley, or highway.

(4) A mechanical loudspeaker or sound amplifier may not be operated within 150 feet of any:

(A) hospital;

(B) school that is in session;

(C) nursing home; or

(D) facility that provides surgical services to patients who do not require overnight hospital care during the hours of operation of the facility.

(b) In this section:

(1) RESIDENCE means a single-family, duplex, or multifamily dwelling.

(2) SURGICAL SERVICES means therapy of a mechanical or operative kind, including, but not limited to, operations involving cutting, the setting of fractures and dislocations, and similar manual forms of treatment.

(c) If conduct that would otherwise violate this section consists of speech or other communication, of gathering with others to hear or observe such speech or communication, or of gathering with others to picket or otherwise express in a nonviolent manner a position on social, economic, political, or religious questions, the person must be ordered to move, disperse, or otherwise remedy the violation prior to arrest or citation.

(d) The order required by Subsection (c) may be given by a peace officer, a fireman, a person with authority to control the use of the premises, or any person directly affected by the violation.

(e) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a) that:

(1) in circumstances in which this section requires an order, no order was given;

(2) an order, if given, was manifestly unreasonable in scope;

(3) an order, if given, was promptly obeyed;

(4) the mechanical loudspeaker or sound amplifier was operated in a public place within an enclosed structure and was not audible beyond the property line of the premises on which it was located;

(5) the person operating the mechanical loud speaker or sound amplifier was a law enforcement officer or member of the fire department in the performance of official duties;

(6) the mechanical loudspeaker or sound amplifier was operated for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency or danger; or

(7) the mechanical loudspeaker or sound amplifier was operated in the performance of emergency work necessary to restore public utilities, to restore property to a safe condition, or to protect persons or property from imminent danger, following a fire, accident, or natural disaster. (Ord. Nos. 13744; 18798; 19455; 21878; 24835)

SEC. 30-5. PENALTIES.

(a) Criminal penalties. An offense under this chapter is punishable by a criminal fine not to exceed $2,000. A person commits a separate offense each day or portion of a day during which a violation is committed, permitted, or continued. A culpable mental state is not required for the commission of an offense under this chapter.

(b) Civil penalties. In addition to imposing the criminal penalty prescribed in Subsection (a), the city may, in accordance with Chapter 54 of the Texas Local Government Code, bring a civil action against a person violating a provision of this chapter. The civil action may include, but is not limited to, a suit to recover a civil penalty pursuant to Section 54.017 of the Texas Local Government Code not to exceed $1,000 for each day or portion of a day during which the violation is committed, continued, or permitted. (Ord. 24835)

By Avi S. Adelman under Neighborhoods , Legal issues