Advertisement

Curfew law made easier to enforce

October 29, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted an ordinance making the curfew law easier for City Police to enforce.

The new ordinance goes into effect Nov. 28, replacing an ordinance written in 1985.

The new ordinance doesn't change the hours of the curfew but removes restrictions on city police officers, making it easier and more likely that officers will enforce the law, Police Chief Arthur Smith has said.

Under the ordinance to be replaced, if officers come across a suspected juvenile in violation of curfew rules, they can't challenge the accuracy of a person's age and name if the person uses a fake name and age, Smith said. All the officers can do is tell the juveniles to go home, he said.

The new ordinance gives police officers the discretion to decide, for example, whether a curfew violator should be ordered home or driven home. The officer can meet with the parents and, if the officer thinks it appropriate, cite them for negligence.

Advertisement

The curfew, which applies to those younger than 16, is 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays until 6 a.m. the following day. The curfew also runs from 12:01 a.m. to 6 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Violators may be found guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500, and be prosecuted by the Department of Juvenile Justice.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|