Arizona House Bill Could Arm Law Enforcement With Noise Pollution Meters

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 - 8:38am
Updated: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 - 9:39am
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Kelly Townsend

A bill moving through the Arizona House on Monday could put noise meters in the hands of Valley law enforcement in much the same way as speed guns.

The idea for House Bill 2389, sponsored by Mesa Republican Rep. Kelly Townsend, spells out the scale the meters are to be used, how samples should be taken, and even the technical requirements for the type of sound meter that would have to be used.

It all stems from a series of excessive noise complaints against an Apache Junction restaurant.

Neighbors, armed with cellphone videos, have routinely filed extreme noise complaints against the Hitching Post restaurant and its outdoor bull riding attraction.

Mehmood Mohiuddin, the bar's owner, has claimed the videos are altered.

To make the noise nuisance laws stick on a statewide level, Townsend said cell phone video is too arbitrary and vague compared to a police operated calibrated sound meter.

"If you're going to charge somebody, they have to defend themselves and spend thousands of dollars," she warned fellow lawmakers and adding, "we don't want this happening on a he said-she said basis by somebody who's disgruntled."

The bill has pushback from other lawmakers and city leaders who wondered aloud who would pay for the meters, which could run upwards of $376 each.

The 5-1 vote passed the House Committee on Regulatory Affairs and now goes to the full House following routine constitutional review.

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