Proposed Ordinance On Curfew For Douglas Kids/Disorderly Intoxication Separated
Following the opinion of Douglas Mayor Pro-Tem Martha Hoexter that the proposed ordinance regulating the “curfew for minors” was unnecessarily rigid and draconian, the Douglas City Council decided to scrap the proposed regulation—up for its second and final reading at Monday night’s meeting—and unanimously voted to split it into two components, one section dealing with “disorderly intoxication” and the other addressing “curfew for minors.”
Monday’s proposed amendment to the city ordinance would fall under “offenses against public peace.”
Hoexter agreed with the section regulating disorderly intoxication, but not with the section for a curfew for minors.
The split approved Monday means the council in a future vote will decide two different and new amendments on two different motions.
The move establishes a distinction and dividing of the two issues for which council members -, including Hoexter - may feel very differently about.
“I don’t think it’s necessary in this town,” said Hoexter, reiterating comments from two weeks ago. “I don’t see kids hanging out on the corner. I just feel its rather restrictive.”
Except when accompanied by an adult, the proposed curfew forbids 12 year olds and under from being in the public space between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
As for minors between the age of 13 and 16 years old, the same curfew is set between 12 midnight and 6 a.m. The proposed regulation makes parents responsible for their kid’s failure to follow the curfew.
One aspect of the rules that really bothered Hoexter is that kids would be required to carry a letter from their employer detailing their work schedule, this so as to provide a legitimate reason for being out late.
Some of Hoexter’s colleagues did not concur with her.
“I don’t mind that the police have the authority to stop and question kids if they see them out,” said Douglas City Council Member Lisa Greenwood.
And Douglas City Council Member Eric Smith noted, “Let’s face it, we can’t keep an eye on our kids all the time.”
Smith further noted that when he was 16 years old, the city where he lived passed the same regulation and that he actually did get stopped by police. “Your employer will back you up,” said Smith, suggesting the proposed regulation would not be that extreme.