The Catholic University of America

Summary of District of Columbia Laws


Disorderly Conduct/Noise

D.C. Code Ann. § 22-1321 et seq.

The Law: The law prohibits a number of offenses  in places open to the public, and in communal areas of multi-unit housing, including acting in such a manner that a person may reasonable fear harm to person or property, incite or provoke violence, direct abusive or offensive language or gestures at another in a manner likely to provoke immediate physical retaliation or violence.

One of the prohibited actions has to do with unreasonably loud noise.

DC Code 22-1321(d):  It is unlawful for a person to make an unreasonably loud noise between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. that is likely to annoy or disturb one or more other persons in their residences.


DCMR 20-27:


·         20-2701 has the limits on noice:

o   Univ. is considered a special purpose district (DCMR 11-507). For special purpose districts, the maximum noise levels are are:

§  Daytime (7am-9pm) : 60 db(A)

§  Nighttime (9pm-7a): 55 db(A)

o   For the purposes of this subsection, the source level shall be measured at the property line of the property on which the noise source is located or as close as is practicable if there is an obstruction.

o   It is highly technical how this is measured. Some perspective:


There is also a process to get a temporary exemption from these requirements if the need arises at 20-2705.


new page 12/6/13 noise info from SZG