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Noise Ordinance and Meters

During 2004, the Carroll County Board of Commissioners recognized the need to have an ordinance in place to address the many complaints of noise pollution received by the Carroll County Government and Carroll's law enforcement agencies. As a result of an in-depth review, workshop process and public hearings, the Board of Commissioners adopted Ordinance 05-08 - Chapter 146, Noise which took effect on September 15, 2005 providing for the control of sound levels throughout Carroll County by:

  • Setting certain noise levels
  • Establishing definitions
  • Establishing sensitive receptors
  • Establishing certain exemptions
  • Establishing a variance process
  • Designating a method of measurement
  • Setting forth violations and penalties
  • Authorizing enforcement by the Sheriff's Office

As identified within the Ordinance, the Carroll County Sheriff's Office strategy for the enforcement is complaint driven. Normally, deputies will not proactively seek noise violations. Often residents do not want to contact law enforcement, but choose instead to monitor and resolve the matter individually with the person responsible for making the noise. In as much, the Carroll County Sheriff's Office currently has 2 Noise Meters that are loaned out for public use. They are available to Carroll County residents only! You only need to come in to our office and request one.

You will be responsible and liable for any loss or damage to this instrument or attachments and must sign an agreement that full and total reimbursement will be made to the County for any loss or damage to the unit while in your possession. The approximate value of the meter and attachments is $250.00.

Please see below for procedures in borrowing one of these Noise Meters:

  • Meters may be borrowed for 7 days with return of the meter due by 7:00 pm on the return
    date. There is a deputy on duty at the front desk 24/7.
  • Meters may not be “reserved” and are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis only. If you know you are coming in to the office and wish to call to check availability, leave your name
    and we will hold it for no more than 2 hours.
  • Please have a photo ID with you. The ID must indicate your current address proving you are a Carroll County resident. A copy of your ID will be attached to your signed agreement. You will be given a copy of this signed agreement.
  • The Duty Officer will give you a brief instruction on the operation of the meter. You will not
    need to adjust any settings and will only need to use the power on/off switch.
  • When the unit is returned, the Duty Officer will examine the meter for any apparent damage or loss of equipment (sound damper, instruction booklet).
  • Failure to return the Noise Meter and attachments on the indicated date in original issue condition may subject the borrower to civil penalties or criminal prosecution.

You may also have a Sheriff's Deputy investigate...

Upon knowledge of a potential noise violation, a deputy will be dispatched to investigate and assess the need noise level monitoring if a violation exists.  If it is determined that the decibel measurement exceeds established thresholds and a violation exists, the violator will be contacted and warned to cease the noise generating activity immediately.  If the violator responds and corrects the situation, no further enforcement action will be taken.

If the complainant advises that the violation persists, a deputy trained and certified in the use of noise measuring instruments will respond to the location and complete an analysis of the noise.  If the noise measurement determines that the violator is in excess of the established noise level a Civil Citation will be issued. When a formal Civil Citation is issued, it carries a first violation fine of $250.00. If the violation continues, subsequent Citations may be issued. The second offense carries a fine of $500.00 while a third offense may result in a fine not exceeding $1,000.00.


Carroll County Sheriff's Office • 100 North Court Street • Westminster, Maryland 21157
410.386.2900 or 1.888.302.8924

Equal Opportunity Employer

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office is committed to recruiting initiatives that reflect a fair and impartial representation of minority groups and females among its employees and applicants in approximate proportion to the minority composition of the Carroll County community.