Ask APD May 15

Q: What are the time limits for loud music in Ashland? I live next to a bar and they play their music loud.

A: Ashland does not have a set time limit for noise violations. There is a Ashland Municipal Code called Unnecessary Noise (AMC 9.08.170) that states "No person shall make, assist in making continue, or cause to be made any loud, disturbing, or unnecessary noise which either annoys, disturbs, injures, or endangers the comfort, repose, health, safety, or peace of others."

The code calls for a "reasonable person with ordinary sensibilities" to judge the noise "after taking into consideration the character of the neighborhood in which the noise is made and the noise is heard." Usually an officer responding to a noise disturbance call will take into account the time of day, day of the week, neighborhood and nature of the noise before making a decision to give a citation. Often the person contacted is given a warning on the first contact so that there is an opportunity to comply.

There are decibel noise standards outlined in the code but officers do not have decibel meters in their vehicles. Many people do not realize that in most cases an officer has to witness a violation to issue a citation. We cannot cite if the noise has stopped by the time we arrive. If an officer issues a citation the fine amount for unnecessary noise is $250.

The entire Unnecessary Noise Municipal Code can be viewed at Click on the "Municipal Code" link on the left side of the page. The site allows you to search by keyword.

Q: What happens if I drive my vehicle without insurance?

A: Every person who operates a motor vehicle on either a highway (public ways, roads, streets) or premises open to the public (parking lot) is required to carry insurance on the vehicle that meets the minimum requirements for liability.

If you are stopped by an officer and found to not have insurance, your vehicle can be towed and you can be issued a $242 citation. If your vehicle is towed you will have to provide the Ashland Police Department with $105 prior to being able to have the vehicle released at the tow yard. There are usually additional fees from the tow company that the Police Department does not control.

Usually there will be additional conditions you will have to meet through DMV for up to three years if convicted of driving uninsured. It is always a good idea to be responsible and carry insurance on your vehicle. The costs are very high if you are caught not doing so.

Have a question? Send it to APD Anonymous Tip Line 552-2333.

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