April 1, 2008
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: The Sarasota, Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award for opposing a city ordinance which would allow the impoundment of loud car stereos.
The Sarasota Herald Tribune reports that “driving with your car stereo too loudly here can already get you a ticket. If Sarasota police have their way, it could also get your car impounded and cost you at least $500 to get it back.”
Steve Breakstone, a lieutenant in the Sarasota police department, commented that towing a car and charging the owner a $500 fine to pick it up is an effective crime-fighting tool that will make people think twice about breaking the law again.
Miami defense attorney Ronald Gurlnick, who is challenging the car impoundment and fines with a class-action lawsuit, said, “I would say if a guy had his radio on a little too loud, he is not a hardened criminal.”
Peter Tannen, chairman of the Sarasota, Manatee, and DeSoto branch of the ACLU, stated that allowing police to impound cars if the stereo is too loud raises questions: “If they want to impound a car from a drug dealer, that is one thing. But if they want to impound it from someone for having a stereo too loud, that is another,” he said.
Mike Smith, an anti-noise activist in Pulaski, Virginia, stated that “the ACLU should think about the tens of millions of Americans who who suffer from loud car stereos day and night. The ACLU itself has chastised President Bush for the use of loud music as a torture technique. Why should the ACLU now wish to allow boom cars to cruise our streets and neighborhoods without fear of stricter laws? Boom cars impose acoustic terrorism on millions of innocent victims. The ACLU should support the right of the majority to peace and quiet–especially in our homes.”
According to Ron Czapala, head of www.NoBoomers.com, “the ACLU seems intent on protecting the ‘rights’ of certain individuals to inflict discomfort on the rest of the population. There are numerous cases where the ACLU has accused city governments of racial profiling when it comes to local ordinances against noise, cruising, and loud partying. Many cities are enacting laws allowing vehicles to be impounded where drivers violate noise ordinances with boom car stereo equipment. Impounding vehicles has proven to be effective in cities such as Peoria and Elgin, Illinois. Stopping the assault on peace in our neighborhoods has nothing to do with race and everything to do with preserving our quality of life.”
“The ACLU should recognize,” continued Czapala, “that the general public is tired of being subjected to harassment by loud, unruly individuals–regardless of their race or ethnicity.”
Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director, commented that “the ACLU does not understand the relationship between boom car noise, drugs, gangs, and crime. Boom car thugs often are hardened criminals. The Department of Justice reports that boom car users are often involved in drugs and gangs. Stopping boom car noise violators is an excellent method of finding criminals. The ACLU seems more interested in protecting criminals than the public welfare.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens organization opposed to noise pollution. Its web site is www.noisefree.org. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Echo Manufacturing, Pioneer Electronics, and Congressman Darrell Issa.