The city of Burlington, Vermont, home to the University of Vermont, is making an effort to crack down on "quality of life" crimes, including noise violations. The following excerpts from the Burlington Code, and related text, is from a flyer distributed by the Burlington Police department. Note that the police department not only cites the code, but adds its own words as well.
21-13(b)(1) General Prohibitions:
It shall be unlawful for any person to make or cause to be made any loud or unreasonable noise. Noise shall be deemed to be unreasonable when it disturbs, injures, or endangers the peace or health of another or when it endangers the health, safety, or welfare of the community. Any such noise sheall be considered to be a noise disturbance and a public nuisance.
21-13(b)(2) Express Prohibitions:
The following acts, which enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive, are declared to be a noise disturbance:
A. Radios, television sets, musical instruments, phonographs and similar devices.
The operation or permitting the use or operation of any musical instrument, radio, television, phonograph, or other device for the production or reproduction of sound in such a manner as to disturb the peace, quiet, or comfort, of the public or in such a manner as to be audible through walls between units within the range of the same building, from another property or the street.
B. Parties and other social events.
It shall be unlawful for any person in charge of a party or other social event to allow that party or event to produce noise in a loud or offensive manner such that the noise interferes with the peace or health of members of the public or is audible through walls between units within the same building, from another property or from the street. A person shall be deemed to be in charge of a party or social event when that event occurs on private property and the person is present at the event and resides on the premises involved or is a person who lives in or on the premises involved and who has authorized the use of the premises for such event.
1) First offense:
A first offense of any provision of this ordinance by a person during any twelve-month period shall be deemed a civil ordinance violation and shall be puishable by a fine of from one hundred dollars ($100.00) to five hundred dollars $500.00). The waiver fine shall be one hundred dollars ($100.00). Any law enforcement officer may issue a municipal complaint ticket for such offense.
2) Second and subsequent offenses:
A second offense during a twelve-month period shall be deemed to be a criminal offense and shall be punishable by a fine of from two hundred dollars ($200.00) to five hundred dollars ($500.00). Each subsequent offense shall be deemed a criminal offense and shall be punishable by a fine of from three hundred dollars ($300.00) to five hundred dollars ($500.00).
3) Any law enforcement officer who cites an accused for violation of this ordinance shall issue a "Notice of Violation Ticket" as provided in section 1-9(d).
ALL SECOND OFFENSES ARE DEEMED A CRIMINAL OFFENSE AND THE VIOLATOR OR VIOLATORS WILL BE ISSUED A CRIMINAL CITATION TO APPEAR IN COURT. THIS MEANS THAT UPON CONVICTION YOU WILL HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD.
***The Burlington Police reserve the right to issue a criminal citation under the following Vermont Law:
Title 13, Vermont Statutes Annotated, section 1026, Disorderly Conduct:
A person who, with intent to cause public inconvenience, or annoyance or recklessly creating a risk thereof:
1) Engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior;or
2) Makes unreasonable noise; or
3) In a public place uses abusive or obscene language; or
4) Without lawful authority, disturbs any lawful assembly or meeting of persons.
Failure to Respond to the Police
Every year we experience those individuals who consider themselves above the law and decide to ignore our presence. Failure to answer the door for a law enforcement officer carries some serious repercussions. Often times there are extenuating circumstances taking place inside the suspect residence.
****Please take note: If you fail to answer the door, we will contact your landlord and advise them of the situation that is occurring on their property and the liability they have possibly incurred. The Burlington Police have access to a a great deal of area landlords.
Every reasonable attempt will be made to contact you at your residence and discuss the violation. Should we have trouble contacting you, or we clearly see you are avoiding out efforts the following will happen:
1) If you are to receive a citation and are clearly avoiding service, a warrant will be issued for your arrest; or
2) If you are a student, we will contact you while in class and serve you with the appropriate paperwork; or
3) We will contact you at your place of employment and serve you with the appropriate paperwork.
We would appreciate your cooperation in meeting with us when we arrive. Your cooperation saves us time and saves you embarrassment.
***Any questions or concerns that you may have may be addressed with the following individuals: Lieutenant Richard Long 658-2704 x.271, Sergeant Paul Glynn 658-2704 x.163, or Officer Amy Avery 659-2704 x.146.