TAMPA, Fla. — One of the new laws going into effect in Florida on July 1 is music to the ears of a Tampa man who has been trying to get people to turn down the music for about 30 years.
That new law says that if a police officer can hear music coming from a car from 25 feet or more away, then the person blasting that music can receive a citation for $114.
And no one could be happier about that than a guy by the name of Clay Daniels.
“I feel great,” Daniels said. “I felt like I had caught the lottery.”
For more than 30 years, Daniels has been taking his complaint about the loud music emanating from cars in his neighborhood — to anybody who would listen.
"It’s like a boom boom boom," he says. "Your whole house be shaking. Your windows be rattling. It is terrible. It’s a terrible way to live. You can’t sleep at night, you know?"
For years, the East Tampa retiree would plead with Tampa City Council members, but for the most part, they and police were powerless to do much about it. In 2012, the Florida Supreme Court threw out a similar law calling it discriminatory.
But now, under a new law that allegedly addresses those issues, a police officer who hears someone blasting music from a distance of 25 feet or more can write that person a citation for $114.
“And look, I think they’re going to write a lot of tickets with this new law,” Daniels said. “Because people have gotten away with it.”
“It’s not good,” said a 20-year-old who called himself Honcho, playing his car stereo in Tampa. Honcho says he spent a lot of money on his equipment and thinks the new law is unfair.
“Music’s not hurting nobody, so no point,” he said.
Daniels would disagree with that. He says the loud music disrupts church services, blasts profanity in school zones and ruins people’s ability to live their lives peacefully. Including his.
“What you’re doing is you’re violating my rights. You’re forcing me to listen to your music, which I don’t want to hear,” Daniels said.
Loud music — that Daniels says, is at best nuisance and at worst, dangerous.
“I came out one night and I actually got someone to turn the music down at 2 o’clock in the morning. He threatened to shoot me,” Daniels said. “It’s about law and order and being respectful to your neighbors, you know? People don’t wanna hear your noise, you know?”