S.B. NO.














relating to noise.





     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the method of measuring noise used by the department of health is the dBA weighting system.  The dBA system measures sound in decibels (dB) using the "A weighted" measurement, dBA, such that sound levels measured in dBA correspond to what the human ear hears.  An alternative dBC weighting system also measures sound levels but includes measurement of the lower frequencies that cause physical objects such as windows and walls to vibrate.  Because these lower frequency sound waves are not perceived by the human ear as measured by the dBA weighting system, even though they are physically felt through strong vibrations, the sound levels generated do not currently constitute a violation of the community noise control law.

     The purpose of this Act is to authorize the county liquor commissions to substitute the dBC weighting system for the current dBA weighting system for purpose of community noise control.

     SECTION 2.  Section 281-17, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

     "(a)  The liquor commission, within its own county, shall have the sole jurisdiction, power, authority, and discretion, subject only to this chapter:

     (1)  To grant, refuse, suspend, and revoke any licenses for the manufacture, importation, and sale of liquors;

     (2)  To take appropriate action against a person who, directly or indirectly, manufactures, sells, or purchases any liquor without being authorized pursuant to this chapter; provided that in counties which have established by charter a liquor control adjudication board, the board shall have the jurisdiction, power, authority, and discretion to hear and determine administrative complaints of the director regarding violations of the liquor laws of the State or of the rules of the liquor commission, and impose penalties for violations thereof as may be provided by law;

     (3)  To control, supervise, and regulate the manufacture, importation, and sale of liquors by investigation, enforcement, and education; provided that any educational program shall be limited to the commission staff, commissioners, liquor control adjudication board members, licensees and their employees and shall be financed through the money collected from the assessment of fines against licensees; provided that fine moneys, not to exceed ten per cent a year of fines accumulated, may be used to fund public liquor related educational or enforcement programs;

     (4)  From time to time to make, amend, and repeal such rules, not inconsistent with this chapter, as in the judgment of the commission seem appropriate for carrying out this chapter and for the efficient administration thereof, and the proper conduct of the business of all licensees, including every matter or thing required to be done or which may be done with the approval or consent or by order or under the direction or supervision of or as prescribed by the commission; which rules, when adopted as provided in chapter 91 shall have the force and effect of law;

     (5)  Subject to chapter 76, to appoint and remove an administrator, who may also be appointed an investigator and who shall be responsible for the operations and activities of the staff.  The administrator may hire and remove hearing officers, investigators, and clerical or other assistants as its business may from time to time require, to prescribe their duties, and fix their compensation; to engage the services of experts and persons engaged in the practice of a profession, if deemed expedient.  Every investigator, within the scope of the investigator's duties, shall have the powers of a police officer;

     (6)  To limit the number of licenses of any class or kind within the county, or the number of licenses of any class or kind to do business in any given locality, when in the judgment of the commission such limitations are in the public interest;

     (7)  To prescribe the nature of the proof to be furnished, the notices to be given, and the conditions to be met or observed in case of the issuance of a duplicate license in place of one alleged to have been lost or destroyed, including a requirement of any indemnity deemed appropriate to the case;

     (8)  To fix the hours between which licensed premises of any class or classes may regularly be open for the transaction of business, which shall be uniform throughout the county as to each class respectively;

     (9)  To prescribe all forms to be used for the purposes of this chapter not otherwise provided for in this chapter, and the character and manner of keeping of books, records, and accounts to be kept by licensees in any matter pertaining to their business;

    (10)  To investigate violations of this chapter, chapter 244D and, notwithstanding any law to the contrary, violations of the applicable department of health's allowable noise levels, through its investigators or otherwise, to include covert operations, and to report violations to the prosecuting officer for prosecution and, where appropriate, the director of taxation to hear and determine complaints against any licensee; provided that the liquor commissions may exclusively employ a dBC sound level measurement system for purposes of community noise control; provided that the use of a dBC sound level measurement system shall be done in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to chapter 91;

    (11)  To prescribe, by rule, the terms, conditions, and circumstances under which persons or any class of persons may be employed by holders of licenses;

    (12)  To prescribe, by rule, the term of any license or solicitor's and representative's permit authorized by this chapter, the annual or prorated amount, the manner of payment of fees for the licenses and permits, and the amount of filing fees; and

    (13)  To prescribe, by rule, the circumstances and penalty for the unauthorized manufacturing or selling of any liquor."

     SECTION 3.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.








Report Title:

Noise; Decibel Weighting; County Liquor Commissions; Enforcement



Authorizes the county liquor commissions to adopt rules and use exclusively the dBC weighting system for the purpose of community noise control.




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