Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement v. Wood Brothers Bar (Cwlth. July 15, 2021)
Not Reported: The Liquor Control Code in Pennsylvania provides
a licensee may not use or permit to be used inside or outside of the licensed premises a loudspeaker or similar device whereby the sound of music or other entertainment, or the advertisement thereof, can be heard beyond the licensee’s property line[.]
After being cited with two, alleged violations where noise from the bar was allegedly heard 50 feet and 162 feet from the bar, the bar owner claims the noise was coming from somewhere else, and thus, the bar should not be cited. Case noted due to alleged claims by bar owner of using “its own decibel reader (sic)” to somehow override the plain text of the Liquor Control Board regulations. Challenging bar owner apparently confuses relative, sound levels (decibel-level) with plainly-audible noise assessments—i.e., as a matter of law, sound-level “readings” per se irrelevant when assessing plainly-audible (constitutional) standards. Case merely remanded for proper procedure from Court of Common Pleas. Lower court upheld violations.