Senate Bill No. 138
(By Senator Dugan)
[Introduced January 14, 1998; referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend article six, chapter sixty-one of the code of
West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section
one-c, relating to noise control; making it unlawful to
create certain loud or excessive noises; providing for prima
facie evidence of violation; creating exemptions; and
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article six, chapter sixty-one of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section
one-c, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 6. CRIMES AGAINST THE PEACE.
§61-6-1c. Noise control.
(a) An "excessive, unnecessary or unusually loud noise" is
defined as any sound regulated by this article which is plainly audible at a distance of two hundred feet from its source.
(b) It is unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause
to be continued, any excessive, unnecessary or unusually loud
noise, or any noise which either annoys, disturbs, injures or
endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others.
(c) The complaints of three or more persons, or of one or
more persons, when combined with the complaint of a police
officer, is prima facie evidence that a sound regulated by this
section annoys, disturbs, injures, or endangers the comfort,
repose, health, peace or safety of others, and is in violation of
(d) Exempted from the provisions of this article are:
(1) Lawnmowers and agricultural equipment;
(2) Noises of safety signals, warning devices and emergency
pressure relief values;
(3) Noises resulting from any authorized emergency vehicles
when responding to an emergency call or acting in time of
(4) Noises resulting from emergency work;
(5) Noise from school bells, church bells or chimes;
(6) Sounds generated by natural phenomena; or
(7) Any other noise resulting from activities sponsored or
cosponsored by any municipality, the county or the state.
(e) Any person who violates subsection (b) of this section
shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than one hundred
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to make it unlawful to
create certain loud or excessive noises; provide for prima facie
evidence of a violation; provide for exemptions and to provide
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.