Hamptons officials have been holding public meetings in order to establish new noise rules for live music in restaurants and bars.
It has already been established that amplifiers, which are frequently used to render otherwise inaudible music audible, will be forbidden. This will keep establishments in compliance with Hamptons Town Music Code, which forbids audible live music.
But because the new rules would need to be enforced by the Hamptons Police Department, the HPD Chief was on hand at a recent closed-door session to discuss the rules and figure out how to implement the new regime. The Chief took the opportunity to encourage a broader approach toward eradicating noise in these venues.
According to Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch, the Chief urged officials to expand their thinking beyond music. “Chief pointed out that, if you’re going to talk about noise in restaurants and bars, the first thing you have to address is all the talking,” Hirsch said. “I mean, people get a few drinks in them and they just won’t shut up. It gets louder and louder, until you can’t hear yourself think. And then the women start laughing—oy!”
Chief’s idea, Hirsch said, is to set statutory limits on the decibel level of speech and laughter in all cafés, bars and restaurants, with a special task force devoted to enforcing the new rules. “We figure police will give people a warning to keep it down, and if they don’t comply or move on, then there’ll be fines or the possibility of arrest.”
After the proposed new rules were made public, there was quite a bit of skepticism about whether they were even constitutional—several lawyers have already threatened to sue on the basis of the First Amendment.
Hirsch dismissed the criticism. “Look, remember in the old days when the librarian used to tell you to be quiet? Don’t you miss the peaceful, studious atmosphere of that old library reading room? Well, we’re bringing it back, coming to a restaurant near you! You’re welcome!”