What can I do if there is a loud party in my neighborhood?
If someone is having a loud party in your neighborhood you may call the Police Department for assistance. When deciding whether to call the police you must also decide whether the noise is at a level that your peace is being disturbed. If it is, you next need to decide whether you would be willing to press formal charges in order to get the noise to stop or be turned down to a tolerable level.
Most often, the mere fact that you are willing to press charges will help us to solve the problem so that no actual charges need be pressed. If you decide to call the police, use the non-emergency number, (831) 758-7321, and not 911. When you call the police you will be asked several things. In addition to getting your name, address and telephone number the person you talk to will also ask you if you are willing to press charges or if you are willing to speak with an officer directly.
We recommend that you provide the dispatcher with your name, address and telephone number even if you do not want to press charges or be contacted. This will help us if other calls are received about the same party.
What if I do not want to give my name and address?
If you do not want to give your name and address you may still call the police and report the noise. The officer who is assigned to the nearby area will be told that a person has called about the noise. Depending on other calls for service, the officer may make an attempt to drive by the party and, if necessary, warn the party giver that a complaint was received. It may be difficult for the officers to quiet the party since the officer has no way of ordering the party giver to turn down the music or face arrest or a citation. The officer may try to quiet the party by enforcing other lawsat or near the party such as, drinking in public, curfew, etc. If the party continues, or you decide that you are willing to press charges in order to quiet the party, you may call back and tell the dispatcher that you are willing to do so.
What laws are being broken if I give a loud party and refuse to lower or stop the noise?
There are several laws that may be broken if you are responsible for giving a party that is too loud. The California Penal Code (415.2) states that it is illegal to maliciously and willfully disturb another person by loud and unreasonable noise.
The Salinas Municipal Code states that it is illegal to use any sound equipment between the hours of 10:00 p.m.. and 8:00 a.m., or at any time when it is unreasonably loud (21A-16). It is also a violation of the Salinas City Code to willfully make any loud, unnecessary, or unusual noise which disturbs the peace or quiet of any neighborhood. (21A-22) You could be issued a citation or be subject to arrest for a violation of either of these codes.