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Noisy drunken students

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Posts: 50
 ACK
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Topic starter
(@ack)
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Joined: 5 months ago

Hi there,

I got almost no sleep at all last night.  It's relatively common on Friday / Saturday nights to hear loud noises at night (especially between midnight and 5am) but last night was next level.

In Coimbra, the "burning of the ribbons" event is imminent and doubtless the revelry is connected to that. Anyway, I am just wondering if anyone has any info on what laws are applicable to situations where groups of drunken students are causing disturbances in the small hours of the morning?  We are not just talking about people speaking loudly.  Last night, I experienced lots of singing in groups (sounded like football chanting), people screaming and people using whistles and drums as they made their way through the streets - at 4am.  I don't even live in the heart of the city.  I am on the far side of the botanical garden, well away from the university and student dorms.

I don't mind a bit of occasional noise, even late at night I can tolerate it.  However, 15 minutes of whistles, drums and maracas - basically a marching drunken band at 4am is too much for me.

If anyone has any ideas what I can do, please let me know.  There must be laws against public nuisance or breach of the peace?  Here's hoping. 

 

 

27 Replies




Posts: 439
Premium Member
(@hank_2021)
Reputable Member
Joined: 1 year ago

Here's a suggestion I offer humbly...for next year...without snark....

Here's what you do...

Buy a couple cases of Super Bock...

and at 4 am...

march with them...

and hand out Super Bocks...

as you march through the streets...

with the wonderful Portuguese students...

It's just a thought....

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7 Replies
 ACK
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(@ack)
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Posts: 50

@hank_2021 There is nothing wonderful about these students.  I was looking for real solutions rather than suggestions that I participate in activities that will surely irritate my neighbors. What they are doing must be illegal. There are laws about causing too much noise in your apartment after 10pm.  I imagine there must be others covering public areas.

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Premium Member
(@hank_2021)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 439

@ack It's a thing that happens in Coimbra and Portuguese love their festivals.

Seems to me complaining about it is going to be like trying to plug a hole in a damn with your finger, but you do you.

 

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 ACK
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(@ack)
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@hank_2021 I don't know, but I just have a hunch that if it was you that had gone through a sleepless night due to this, you may have a slightly more understanding perspective. 

I suppose though it's always nice to know that the school of thought that advocates turning a blind eye to things is alive and well. I just wonder what sort of condition the world would be in if we all got on board with that philosophy?

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 Ralf
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(@ralf)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 211

@ack Some of the best memories I had in college was silly stuff at 2:00 AM, or 3:00 AM or 4:00 AM. It was harmless and silly stuff, and no one got hurt. Yes, we likely did keep people up on occasion.

 

I graduated, I got a job, I paid taxes. I had a family. 

In a city like Coimbra, or any college town, it is going to happen. Let them have their fun. It will be some of the best memories of their lives, and they will likely have no better friends than the ones they have now in college.

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 ACK
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(@ack)
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@ralf If you did keep people up on occasion, then I don't see how those activities can be described as harmless. 

These students are adults.  Moreover, they are supposed to be educated adults. I don't want to listen to people attempting to excuse criminality by saying "Oh they are so young and having a  good time" or "we all used to do it".   It's just nonsense really. Perhaps you would like to suggest other common crimes that students / young (18+) adults should not be prosecuted for on the basis of it being fun at the time. Vandalism? Speeding? Assault? I'm just trying to get a handle on at what point the excuse of youth is no longer viable for you. 

I have already visited the Camara as OldBloke advised as well as the local police station.  I can confirm that no permit existed for the making of loud noise in the areas in which it took place and the police told me that if it recurs, I should call them. The closest designated zones for the creation of noise were at least a 12-15 min walk from my home and not until 4am. Yes, Coimbra is a university city, but it also has rules set by the local government governing public noise.  These rules were broken.

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 Ralf
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(@ralf)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 211

@ack Yeah, the weren't endangering others, as speeding does. Or assault. GOOD GRIEF.

 

Hard to believe you would compare these to making noise at 4:00 AM. 

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 ACK
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(@ack)
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@ralf Well, you thought you were not and they were not harming others.  There is no real way to confirm with events long in the past. A surprising number of people die due to the clocks going back and forward.  Messing around with sleep patterns is more serious than you might think - especially for the elderly. Causing people undue annoyance and stress is also harmful. I was harmed - I can assure you of that.

I recollect your original comment talked about harm, not physical endangerment. Harm does not have to be physical in nature. Impeding a person's ability to enjoy their property by creating an ungodly noise in the road qualifies as harm. 

Quite apart for all this, causing an alcohol induced breach of the peace is just rude. It is boorish and ill-mannered behavior that should not be condoned. People who engage or have engaged in this type of conduct ought to be nothing except ashamed of themselves and stunned by their level of selfishness. 

The long and short of this tale is that the students involved were breaching the law. I believe that people who do so ought to face punishment. If you don't believe that, then you can campaign to change the law. 

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Posts: 2163
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(@old-bloke)
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Posted by: @ack

What they are doing must be illegal.

Have you confirmed that the Camara hasn't issued a special noise permit? (Article 15 of the Regulamento Geral do Ruído)

Most likely one has been issued (last night was the first night of the week long burning of the ribbons festivities), what are the conditions attached to the permit?

Until you ascertain the above you can't assume there is any illegality taking place.

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1 Reply
 ACK
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(@ack)
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@old-bloke Why would a noise permit be issued that allows marching bands at 4am? I'm sorry, but I just find that hard to believe - especially in quiet residential streets like mine.  

Where can I find out if this type of permit has been issued and would it constitute a general permit for everyone to make as much noise as they wished? Are permits not usually granted to specific businesses / events with specific locations?

I live in a quiet part of the city.  I just want to get a decent sleep.  It's not too much to ask. At least your reply was helpful and not sarcastic like the other one. I know that there are rules about noise made in the home at night.  Do you know what the rules (standard ones) are regarding things like singing and beating drums in the street? It happens often, just not to the extent of last night.

When I say it must be illegal, I am basing my assumption on living in the UK, Singapore and Canada.  Basically, civilized societies tend to have regulations prohibiting this type of disturbance. It is very selfish and unreasonable to create that amount of noise so late at night outside of a bar or concert venue. I don't care if Portugal just won the world cup, it absolutely can't be justified. 

Thank you. 

 

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Posts: 2163
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(@old-bloke)
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Posted by: @ack

Why would a noise permit be issued that allows marching bands at 4am?

The permit might not permit that at 4 am, you would need to see the permit to ascertain the conditions it is subject to.

Posted by: @ack

Where can I find out if this type of permit has been issued

At the Camara.

Posted by: @ack

and would it constitute a general permit for everyone to make as much noise as they wished?

No, a special noise permit is only in "exceptional and justified cases", even then terms and conditions will apply.

Posted by: @ack

Do you know what the rules (standard ones) are regarding things like singing and beating drums in the street?

Link to the legislation.

Posted by: @ack

Basically, civilized societies tend to have regulations prohibiting this type of disturbance.

As does Portugal (see above link), but they also like their celebrations hence why they have "Special noise licence" to allow festivities (and other temporary noise) to take place that would usually be in contravention of the legislation.

The burning of the ribbons is an annual event, this year's one might be a bit more raucous than usual due to it having been covid cancelled for the last 2 years.

If you want to take action your first step should be at the Camara to see if a special noise licence has been issued and if so what conditions apply.

As a noise hater I sympathise with your predicament (which is why I currently live in a forest away from everyone), but as I age and land maintenance becomes harder I will eventually move into town and accept that for one week every year I will have to accept the noise from our annual music festival with bands playing until 2 or 3 in the morning. For me one week of noise a year is a small price to pay for the other 51 weeks of enjoying the better quality of life Portugal offers.

 

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2 Replies
 ACK
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(@ack)
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@old-bloke Thank you so much for your help. I don't want to come across as some intolerant old person moaning about the young.  However, in this case the festivities in Coimbra are being held about a 30 minute walk (over the river) from where I am. I am sure those places have a permit. Random groups of students terrorizing sleeping people with levels of noise that shook the windows at 4am probably have no such permit.  I am going to take this as far as I can legally, once I get the info from the Camara on Monday morning. I suspect, those students are well out of the designated area.

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 ACK
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(@ack)
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@old-bloke Some of the other quite unsupportive comments that I've managed to attract on this thread have made me appreciate what you had to say all the more.  I spoke to the Camara and I chatted with the police.  There was no permit governing noise at that time anywhere near my neighborhood.  The police were nice, but I know if I called them next time, it's likely to be  a hopeless task. They said they will have to bring noise level monitoring equipment to the scene.  At 4am, with a moving target, I doubt anything will be achieved. By the time they arrive, the culprits will be gone or maybe no longer making noise.

I'm going to follow your example and move to the country anyway.  I already bought a piece of land at the edge of a peaceful village. Not quite in a forest, but good enough.  In truth, I would feel a  bit of trepidation about living near a forest, what with all the fire risk they have during the summer. 

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Posts: 47
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(@vianina)
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Joined: 2 years ago

What in fact are you supposed to do when the noisy drunken students are raising hell in the next door apartment from midnight into the small hours? That's the situation we've had for the past week. The neighbour from upstairs went and shouted at them twice, but they are still at it every night.

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3 Replies
VIP Member
(@old-bloke)
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@vianina 

You call the police.

Article 24

1 - The police authorities may order the producer of neighbourhood noise, produced between 23:00 and 07:00, to adopt the appropriate measures to immediately put an end to the nuisance.

2 - The police authorities may set a deadline for the producer of neighbourhood noise produced between 7 am and 11 pm to put an end to the nuisance.

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Community Member
(@vianina)
Joined: 2 years ago

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Posts: 47

@old-bloke , thank you for the solid info, and thanks to the OP for the good wishes. I’m going to be out of town for a week and can only hope, for the sake of my Ukrainian houseguests who work long hours, that the noise abates. The neighbour upstairs says she fully intends to involve the police if it continues. She’s a local, doesn’t mince her words, and I imagine her chances of getting it sorted are better than mine. 
Living in the middle of a forest is the right approach.

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 ACK
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(@ack)
Joined: 5 months ago

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Posts: 50

@vianina I sympathize with your predicament. Luckily, as OldBloke has indicated there are clear regulations about household noise.  I hope you find police that are willing to take action. Noisy neighbors can be tough to live with. Presently, my neighbors are fine, but I've been there in the past.

I actually slept really well last night because it rained - dulling down the desire for causing a disturbance in the street.  I hope it rains for the rest of the week. 

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