From Staff Reports
With the summer in full gear, now is the time to be aware of a curfew for minors.
According to the city of Murphy ordinance 15-05-992, a minor is considered any person under the age of 17 years. The curfew was adopted June 19, 2006. Every three years, there is a review of curfew provisions.
Curfew hours are from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday.
For the weekend, curfew is any Saturday or Sunday at 12:01 a.m. to 6 a.m.
There are some exceptions to the curfew. Like many other cities, Murphy’s curfew ordinance provides exemptions for youth who are going to or from a school, religious, or civic-sponsored event. Youth traveling from places of employment or responding to emergencies often are excluded from curfew provisions as well. Several ordinances allow unrestricted mobility for youth who are married, accompanied by an adult, or traveling with a parent’s permission.
Emergencies, as defined by the city include
fire, a natural disaster, an automobile accident, or any situation requiring immediate action to prevent serious bodily injury or loss of life.
If the driver is under the age of 17 years, they must be accompanied by a guardian or parent that is at least 18 years of age.
A guardian is define as a person who, under court order is the guardian of the person or a public or private agency with whom a minor has been placed by the court.
The law defines a parent as a natural parent, adoptive parent, or stepparent, or another person of at least 18 years of age and authorized by the parent or guardian to have the care and custody of the guardian.
Before taking any enforcement action in the issue of curfew a police officer shall ask the apparent offender’s age and reason for being in the public place.
The officer shall not issue a citation or make an arrest under section 46-64 unless the officer reasonably believes that an offense has occurred and that, based on any response and other circumstances, no defense in Section 46-63 is present.
If the minor is found to be in violation of the ordinance, each offense, upon conviction is punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.
Now that you know what the curfew code means, lets look what to do if you are pulled over.
- Pull over to a safe area.
- Stay in the car.
- Turn engine off, roll down window and turn on your dome light.
- Stay still and keep your hands on the steering wheel.
- Wait for the officer to ask you for your documents.
- Be civil.
- Don’t argue.
- Sign the citation.