Curfew Laws - Teen Rights

July 20, 2011
By Casey Farmer on July 20, 2011 4:51 PM |

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Across the United States a new trend has developed. Teenagers have been using social media to communicate with one another on where groups will be "hanging out" during the summer nights. While this sounds like a simple way to just "spread the word" amongst teenagers, law enforcement has been eavesdropping with their own social media profiles and finding out where and when these "impromptu parties" are being held. Obviously, some residents of a particular area don't particularly like large groups of kids hanging out around their neighborhood. So they cal the cops if they aren't there already.

Well, to some cities, this isn't enough. City Council Members have banded together and have started passing city ordinances providing curfews in an effort to keep people under 18 years of age at home. Curfews are nothing new. Parents and teenagers are getting upset because some of these curfews are set as early as 6:00 p.m. The language of these ordinances are so vague that they basically allow any law enforcement officer to pull over a vehicle for no reason whatsoever other than the driver or passengers "look like they are under 18" and out past curfew.

The ACLU has had a field day with these curfews. They write letters and explain to City Officials that ordinances that seem to be protecting residents can actually be violating teenagers First Amendment Rights.

Every parent and teenager should be familiar with ordinances enacted during the summer months, regardless of where they live. If you need help understanding the ordinance of your area, give me a call and I'll be glad to help you.

Eric Brown