Noise violations become a misdemeanor offense yet again

Ben Wimmer

The Wilmington City Council voted to make noise violations a misdemeanor offense which could result in a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

In the past, noise violations were punishable by a $250 fine for first-time offenders and a fine of $500 for second and multiple-offenders. As of Jan. 3, noise violators can now be charged criminally. The city council voted on the measure unanimously.

Reportedly, first-time offenders will receive a warning and second-time offenders will face citations and fines. Repeat offenders could be charged criminally. According to the Star-News, 4,131 noise calls were responded to by police from January through October of 2005; among the calls only 779 citations were issued.

According to Chief David Donaldson of the University Police, a noise violation was previously a criminal offense, which was later recodified as a civil offense, only to be made a criminal offense again.

Chief Donaldson replied: “I support the city’s effort to provide additional tools to the police officers to assist with addressing community concerns. I also applaud their willingness to reconsider the effectiveness of their ordinances.”