According to the Noise Abatement Regulations, Part XI, Chapter 328, Revised Edition 2003 of the Subsidiary Laws of Belize, “a person who on any premises uses or causes or allows to be use any equipment in such a way as to cause or allow it to emit unreasonable noise from those premises commits an offence”. This is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than $1,000 or imprisonment for a term of not less than three months. It further states that “a prosecution for an alleged offence under sub regulation may be instituted only by any three or more persons of whom is the occupier of the premises and claims to be directly affected by that alleged offence; an authorized person; or police officer.”
One resident of San Pedro Town, neighbor to a bar on Angel Coral Street, told The San Pedro Sun that she is unable to sleep due to loud noise. “I work two jobs, and when I come home, I need my night’s rest. The noise is too much, and my children and I cannot sleep.”
Although the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) acknowledges that high noise levels can be an issue, a representative stated that they seldom receive complaints of noise pollution. “Maybe there are residents who are complaining, but they are not making a proper report. In order for us to address the issue, complaints have to be written and addressed to the San Pedro Liquor Licensing Board, and the Police Department. Once received, we address the letter in our quarterly meetings, and depending on the complaint, we might issue something back in writing. Until then, we monitor the situation, and try to gather evidence,” said the SPTC representative.
Sound strength is measured in decibels (dB), and according to the DOE, most residential premises should not exceed 45dB from 6PM to 6AM. During the day, only 60dB are permitted for residential areas, and 90dB for industry/commerce.
Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun