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NEED LEGAL ADVICE A.S.A.P. BEING HARASSED BY SHERIFF. FOR EXCESSIVE DECIBEL LEVEL

Old 07-03-2001, 09:39 AM
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Hey Bad24... got any friends that are lawyers that might want to go for a blast with you? I'd invite mine & let him do the talking....
 
Old 07-03-2001, 10:21 AM
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The first thing you need to find out is what standard they base their testing proceudre on? Up until recently most states based their testing on SAE proceudres J1970 or J34. The interesting requirements of these are as follows:

The wind has to be less then 13 mph to do the test.

The meter must be held at arms length

No one besides the operator can be within 15 feet of the meter.

3 db must be subtracted to compensate for ambient noise.

Recently though, I've heard that there is a new 2000 standard that just requires an idle measurement at 3 feet. I'm not sure of the details, but I'll try and get them. There typically are certain baseline situations that must be met as indicated on the other tests.

One of the best defenses though is a video camera. It confirms how things were tested and no officer wants to end up on a training video of "How not to do a noise test"

The video erases any doubts about who's word the judge believes, since typically you, the defendant, will loose, regardless of the truth. (personal experience )

Craig

[ 07-03-2001: Message edited by: mltdwn12 ]
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Old 07-03-2001, 10:43 AM
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Originally posted by mltdwn12:
<STRONG>
One of the best defenses though is a video camera.[ 07-03-2001: Message edited by: mltdwn12 ]</STRONG>
Sweet idea...bring a camcorder next time you're out and tell him to smile as you record him.
We have a guy on the Chain that runs a 42' Fountain with triple BBC's and he was forced off the water last year due to high decible levels. They really hassled him and he lost when he went to court -- you don't get a jury trial for that type of ticket -- you get a judge who will side with the officers.
He's back this year -- with quieter exhaust.
Good luck and have a safe holiday...
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Old 07-03-2001, 10:58 AM
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Bad- I think the lawyer consultation is a good idea- a lot of them will give you a free phone call. Profiling is illegal (Singling out a group- whether it's waterbikes or hotboats or ethnically enhanced automobiles). Harassment can also come into play. On the other hand, officer andy may have you now established as a repeat offender and as such may be able to justify keeping an eye on you. You've got to play the game. If he's rude to your guests and family you can take some actions. There's obviously some influence from the homeowners association.

Like others have suggested, invest in a DB meter and learn how to use it. Inquire about the certification, training records etc. His test is invalid without it. Also what is the repeatibility of the process. If three readings show +/- 3 decibels than 3 decibels over is acceptable because the equipment can't measure that accurately. Also sounds like a no win situation- find a way to hit 90 at idle if it's feasible.

I'm glad I live in an area where we don't suffer that type of harassment. I'm also glad my exhaust exits just below the waterline so I'm safe at idle (My wife likes it too). I'm a long time gear head, drag racer etc. etc. and love the sound of tuned ponies. I also respect that sometimes a well intended exhaust system sounds just plain obnoxious and loud rather than tuned and fast. I've seen it in Bubba trucks (Ok so mines a hopped up Cummins) and Jet boats and big 30+ footers, believe me these particular vehicles were all loud and no performance. I do understand that some people intentionally make their vehicles sound this way and others buy a project vehicle and don't have the time or money to sort it out right away.

Sorry for the soap box. Bad- educate yourself on the law, decibel tests, and cheat a little to "conform". Ranger Rick may have it in for you but if you educate yourself you can beat him at his own game, 3 decibels is awfully close to be splitting hairs.
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Old 07-03-2001, 12:07 PM
  #15  
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We have a problem in Stamford harbor. I have had two friends get stopped. The cop made them back into a 3 sided lainching pit for the travel lift, with walls 8'high, and rev their engines to 3000rpm.
Since I heard that, I keep my CT boating compliance book on board that reads: decebel level will be read at 50' behind the boat at idle in a harbor or 100' behind the boat on plane in open water.
Get a copy of your states rules and keep them on the boat
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Old 07-03-2001, 12:26 PM
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There's another angle that may be of help. With road vehicles (And I strongly suspect water vehicles) you have to meet the laws of your "home" state. In other words if my Jeep passes all applicable Arkansas laws I am legally able to operate in any of the other fifty states even if they have unique laws more stringent than that of my home state (Yes my tires stick out a lot and I know my bead lock wheels are not DOT legal in any state). So I guess I'm saying that if your home state requires 95 DB you can't get busted for violating 90 DB in another state if you're within the 95. They can probably still engage you in stimulating conversation about the subject though.

[ 07-03-2001: Message edited by: Cattitude ]
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Old 07-03-2001, 12:57 PM
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I would get a set of shot-guns, they should get you your 3 DB'S. Did he write you for being ver DB's or no mufflers. I believe there are 3 different mcl laws in Mi you can be writen for. Also in Mi most of the tickets are misdaneanors not civil infraction as you get on the road. I would review the ticket for a mistakes. ie wrong driver Lic # or reg # and so on. It has to be thrown out if not 100% correct, but if he's on his game he can reissue it with the corrections.
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Old 07-03-2001, 01:33 PM
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<STRONG>
We have a guy on the Chain that runs a 42' Fountain with triple BBC's and he was forced off the water last year due to high decible levels. They really hassled him and he lost when he went to court -- you don't get a jury trial for that type of ticket -- you get a judge who will side with the officers.
He's back this year -- with quieter exhaust.
Good luck and have a safe holiday...</STRONG>
I think old-time OSO readers and members can guess who this guy is?
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Old 07-03-2001, 01:37 PM
  #19  
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I'm with Craig! Learn the law very well then take the camcorder out with you and drink zero beers!!! I knew that they were gonna be looking for me on our small-town lake through "rumors". So the next time I went out I didn't drink anything until he stopped me. I saw him coming and "bumped" my silent choice switch so it was aboutr 1/3 closed or so. Did the test, which I think he did wrong, but I passed anyway. He never asked about silent choice. After I passed I started giving him s**t. Telling him that his stinky-ass outboard(which would barely idle and smoked like a bonfire) was polluting the air too much. Then, just as he was about to leave, a open-header jet boat (which was WAY louder than me) went by about 200 yards away. I pointed at him and told him to go get him. I wasn't a dick, I was being sarcastic but had a smile on my face. He has never bothered me since then.
 
Old 07-03-2001, 01:47 PM
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Originally posted by jafo:
<STRONG>I think old-time OSO readers and members can guess who this guy is?</STRONG>
I know who the guy is...I wasn't aware that he was a OSO member. Is he still? Is there a story to be told??

[ 07-03-2001: Message edited by: G-Force ]
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