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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Sarasota Florida Police Chief Peter Abbott. He gets the award for the following.

SARASOTA -- Driving with your car stereo too loud here can already get you a ticket. If Sarasota police have their way it could also get your car impounded and cost you at least $500 to get it back.

Sarasota police want the authority to tow away drivers' cars if they are caught playing the stereo too loud, driving with a suspended license or leaving the scene of a minor crash -- all misdemeanor charges.

Sarasota police Lt. Steve Breakstone said towing a car and charging the owner a $500 fine to pick it up is an effective crime-fighting tool that will make people think twice about breaking the law again.

"There are certain people in the community who don't care how many times police arrest them or issue a citation," Breakstone said. "But they care if you impound their car."

Guilty till proven innocent is the mantra of law enforcement across much of the United States. Unless you're fellow law enforcement, then you'll be given a helping hand after your DUI and driving on the wrong side of the interstate kills two people.

Sarasota Police Chief Peter Abbott dismissed any notion that the measure is intended to raise money for the city, pointing out that it is against the law to enact an ordinance just to collect revenue.

He said expanding his department's ability to impound cars would address "quality of life" issues -- such as noise pollution -- that residents complain about citywide.

If you're police have enough time Chief to arrest people for playing music too loudly, you and your department is overstaffed. Get off your backside, put down those donuts, and start busting real criminals. But before that, I name Sarasota Florida Police Chief Peter Abbott today's Knucklehead of the Day.


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Comments (14)

Bill,I have to disag... (Below threshold)

I have to disagree with some of what you said. There is a house in my neighborhood where the cops are all the time. There are several cars parked in front, many with loud stereos. The local newspaper publishes the Police Report and you see the same addresses over and over. If their cars and houses are confiscated, either they will move on or move up but there is no reason for my neighbors and me to tolerate this kind of behavior. "Take care of the broken windows..."

Yeah, I slightly disagree, ... (Below threshold)

Yeah, I slightly disagree, too. There are no noise ordinances where I live, but I wish there were. Kids are constantly driving through our neighborhood blasting the stereo so loudly our windows rattle.

Plus, when my kids were under 2 and it routinely woke them from their naps, it was infuriating. It's still irritating and completely unnecessary. Another example of how people don't have any consideration for others these days; when I was that age I turned the stereo down when going into a neighborhood, but cranked it up on the highway.

Yep, have to say in an urba... (Below threshold)
civildisobedience Author Profile Page:

Yep, have to say in an urban environment the biggest intrusion is noise. Think of it like trespassing.

I had a friend who was recently allowed to break the lease on the condo he was renting because the neighbors had their animal music on at all hours with the base going whoomp, whoomp, whoomp. Two months of complaining had no results, but he documented each event and provided it to the owner; he had no other choice. That building is going to hell and condo values are decreasing because they will not enforce ordinances, especially noise.

The biggest concern, and it is big, is what constitutes "too loud"? You could have the treble tones high enough to hear outside the car, but it won't disturb beyond a couple of feet. You could have one of those super bases and not hear any notes, but feel it shake you from your head to feet. They need to clearly define "too loud".

I've got news for you, in m... (Below threshold)
GarandFan Author Profile Page:

I've got news for you, in most states police can impound a vehicle if the driver is found to be unlicensed or if they are knowingly driving on a suspended license.

Garand fan,I know ... (Below threshold)

Garand fan,

I know that. Confiscating cars for playing music too loudly is absurd. THat's why the Chief deserves the Knucklehead.


Your wrong Bill. I live in ... (Below threshold)

Your wrong Bill. I live in Sarasota and if this halts these a__holes from disturbing my peace...then I am all for it.

Now thats going too far all... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Now thats going too far all they have to do is urge them to turn down the radio this is too big brotherism

"..dismissed any notion tha... (Below threshold)

"..dismissed any notion that the measure is intended to raise money for the city.."

When they say its "not about the money" it really IS "about the money".

Also, I believe the noise ordinance is also one of those "broken glass" harbingers of more crime to follow. The boomers (not baby) are really about dissin' the law, I'm badder than yo' *, and I couldn't care less about you, your wants, rights, or even my own responsibility as a citizen in society.

So, go for it chief. I'm tired of the 2am booms going down the street or even the 2pm booms of the kids at the local HS. Respect for other peoples rights have to be taught somewhere.

You nailed it JoeC. They wa... (Below threshold)
civildisobedience Author Profile Page:

You nailed it JoeC. They want to stand outside society's laws/rules, then they have to know society will impose consequences. These are not your average citizen driving down the street jamming to their favorite song on their stock car radio. These are those custom rigs done up so you can hear it 5 blocks away, rattling windows and heads as they drive by tryin' to look max gangsta.

Besides, its impounding, not seizure. Cities impound thousands of cars everyday for parking in a no parking zone. Every Friday/Saturday night they patrol the same streets of clubs and restaurants, towing away many, many cars in violation. People pick up their car the next morning after paying the fine. This would be no different.

At first, I thought the knu... (Below threshold)

At first, I thought the knucklehead award was for being in Sarasota. (Sorry, Michael.)

But then I read this: "Unless you're fellow law enforcement, then you'll be given a helping hand after your DUI and driving on the wrong side of the interstate kills two people."
What does that 2002 incident have to do with noise ordinances on the other side of the state six years later?

This is one of the first ti... (Below threshold)

This is one of the first times I've ever disagreed with a Knucklehead of the Day award, for all the reasons that have already been mentioned by others.

If repeated citations and fines don't solve the problem and the residents want the problem solved, then I say the chief and his department are doing exactly what they are paid to do--finding innovative solutions to the problem. Good job crews!

As far as I'm concerned, it... (Below threshold)

As far as I'm concerned, it ought to be perfectly legal to sumarily execute these idiots in their $200 cars with $4,000 booming stereos blasting so hard the rust is falling off the car at stop lights. Sorry, no sale on this one pal. The knuckleheads are the assholes making all the racket, not the cops trying to stop them.

Scottie, the only way you a... (Below threshold)

Scottie, the only way you are getting my double 14" Kicker Boomers and 1200 MW Rockford Fosgate is when you pry them from my cold dead hands.

Epador, if you insist....</... (Below threshold)

Epador, if you insist....






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