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VERIFY: Yes, Georgia law does address loud car mufflers

From the sound level of you car radio to how loud your muffler is, Georgia has a noise ordinance. But it's up to the officers discretion on whether to enforce it.

ATLANTA — More people are out and about and Atlanta roads seem to be filling back up. Are the cars louder, or are we not used to the noise anymore? What about loud mufflers? 

"I think they're really annoying," said an 11Alive viewer. 

Another viewer, Ed Hutchins asked our VERIFY team to fact-check if there are any noise ordinances for mufflers in the state of Georgia. 

We took his question to the experts. 


“There seems to be no noise level law or ordinances for car mufflers anymore. True? Loud, growling mufflers seem to be everywhere I go now," Hutchins asked. 


Yes, there are two types of noise ordinances in Georgia about vehicles. One is for loud music, and the other for loud mufflers. But, it's up to the police on whether to enforce it. 


Let's start by explaining the two ordinances. 

The first is about the music coming from your vehicle. According to the Official Code of Georgia, you can't produce sound from radio, tape player, CD, etc, that can be heard at a distance of 100-feet or more from your vehicle. Breaking this ordinance is a misdemeanor offense in Georgia. 

The other noise ordinance in Georgia does have verbiage related to the noise of a vehicle muffler. 

But, we found that the ordinance is pretty vague. 

It says you can't sell or offer a muffler that makes "excessive and unusual noise". If you do, the law says it's a misdemeanor offense. 

But what's considered excessive and unusual and is it enforced often? 

Credit: WXIA

Our VERIFY team went to Lieutenant W. Mark Riley, the Public Information Director for the Department of Public Safety and Georgia State Patrol. 

"To my knowledge, Georgia law doesn’t specify a decibel limit in regards to muffler noise. It is the discretion of the trooper/officer to make the determination if it is excessive," Riley explained. 

So, we can VERIFY, there is a Georgia law addressing loud mufflers, but as far as enforcing it, it's at the discretion of the officer. 

11Alive's Verify team is here to fact-check claims being shared in the community and online. Fill out the form below with something you'd like us to Verify.

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