DOÑA ANA COUNTY, N.M. — Dona Ana County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a noise control ordinance Tuesday for the unincorporated areas of the county.
The ordinance will allow deputies to issue citations if the noise level exceeds 50 decibel in residential areas, 60 decibels for commercial areas and 70 decibels for industrial areas at night.
"We wanted to see an increase in heightened awareness of noise in general," said District 3 Commissioner Karen Perez. "How does you noise impact you neighbors?"
The fines will range from $100 to $300 hundred dollars for first and second time offenders.
Three or more violations will be an automatic $300 fine.
"It makes it a petty misdemeanor punishable by a fine, not jail time if people exceed certain limits of noise," said Assistant County Attorney Fred Kennon.
To enforce the law deputies will be equipped with portable decibel meters that will use to determine how much sound is coming from a property from the property line.
The law will not apply to farming or military operations.
Commissioners considered temporary permits but chose not to add extra administrative work for the sheriff's office who would have to issue permits.
The ordinance will go into effect January 10th of next year.