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Is Driving With Loud Music Illegal In California?

Two women singing a song inside a car.

It’s no secret that everyone loves to turn up the volume when they hear their favorite song in the car, but turning the volume up too much can become a legal issue in California. If you are not careful, you can potentially get a hefty fine for listening and singing along to your favorite song.    

What is the California Law on Playing Loud Music From a Car? 

According to California Vehicle Code 27007, it is illegal for a driver to operate any sound system that can be heard outside the vehicle from a 50 foot radius. There is no limitation on the type of vehicle so this means that this rule can be applicable to passenger vehicles running a playlist, vehicles advertising products or services, parade floats, and even political vehicles urging people to vote. 

@westcoasttriallawyers How loud do you play your music? #carmusic #car_music #carmusicbass #fastercarmusic #nightcarmusic #carridemusic #carrrides #soundsystem #sound_system #soundsystemlovers #soundsystemculture #soundsystemsetup #loudmusic #loud_music #playingloudmusic #loudmusiclover #lawyersontiktok #lawyersoftiktok #lawtok #lawyertok #musicloud #radiorebel #radiolife #radioradio #musictok #cartok #legaltok ♬ Jacob and the Stone – Emile Mosseri


What Are the Exceptions to the Law?

The only exception to California Vehicle Code 27007 is when the sound system was used to either request assistance or warn people of a hazardous situation. So emergency response vehicles such as ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars may utilize extremely loud sound systems to either divert and guide traffic or warn people around the area about a severe situation.  

How Much Is a Ticket for Playing Loud Music

Depending on the city in California and number of offenses you may or may not have accrued, a ticket for playing music too loud inside your car can range from $50 to $250. However, it is important to note that repeated offenses can cost upwards of $500 to $1000 depending on the issuing officer and the city that you are pulled over in. So it is important to be mindful of your music volume when you are driving to your destination or else you may find yourself pulled over for something you did not think was a serious issue. 

What Should I Do if I Receive a Ticket for Playing Loud Music?

If you have received a ticket for playing music too loudly, you can quickly settle the ticket by paying the fine and following all appropriate processes. Should you wish to contest the ticket, you have the right to do so as long as you follow proper court procedures in California. However, if you do not pay the fines for the ticket then you may accrue additional fines and fees and possibly face more serious legal consequences. 

With that in mind, if you are subjected to an unlawful traffic stop and would like to seek legal representation of the matter, contact us today by calling (213) 927-3700 or filling our contact form to schedule a free consultation with our compassionate and talented legal team.

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