Parents face curfew fines

If Portland, Oregon children are caught out after curfew, their parents face hefty fines — up to $1,000 for a second offense. Curfew is 10:15 p.m. on nonschool nights for children 14 and younger.

Officers will have discretion on which parents to cite.

“We’re not after the parents where there’s just some oversight,” said Jim Hayden, a Multnomah County deputy district attorney. “We want the parents who don’t feel they can supervise their kids properly or don’t seem to care.”

That level of police discretion is going to lead to problems.

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  1. wayne martin says:

    The current ordinance, which is based on a state law,
    forbids children younger than 14 to be on the streets between
    9:15 p.m. and 6 a.m. Those 14 to 18 can be out until 10:15 p.m.
    Sunday through Thursday and until midnight on Friday and
    Saturday during the school year.

    Last year, police cited 19 children for violating curfew.

    Portland Curfew Sweeps:

    Curfew Violations: 47
    Walk and Talks: 58
    Traffic Citations: 13
    Traffic Warnings: 5
    Hot Cover Calls: 4

    It would be nice for a little history as to why Oregon needs a State-wide child curfew law? Were kids (upto 18) running amuk? Certainly seems awfully restrictive.

  2. In Portland, the curfew for children under 14 is 9:15 pm on school nights and 10:15 pm on weekends. For those 14 to 18, it’s 10:15 on school nights and midnight on weekends.

  3. Bill Leonard says:

    I agree with Wayne; a little history might help a lot. Otherwise, my gut reaction is, this is another case of legislators with a solution who looking for a problem — and I am certain there are many, many meaningful problems faced by Oregon that might more usefully command the legislature’s attention.

  4. Walter E. Wallis says:

    A curfew makes breaking it more exciting.

  5. I lived in Austin for several years. They have had such a curfew for a long time. Even a daytime curfew, if a child is out on a school day they can be picked up. I had a coworker whose son was caught breaking the curfew the third time. Kid had to do community service for being out at 2 am. Granted the judges are reasonable, such as group trips, or if the parents knew where the kids were or with another adult or if the parent knew where the kid was say walking home from a friend’s house.

  6. Ian Lewis says:

    The fines will only work if they get compliant parents. Sooner or later they will ticket a parent that has $$ and that parent will sue on 1st and 4th Amendment grounds. This has gone to numerous District and Appellate Courts, with a 50/50 split on the constitutionality on curfews. Unfoutunately, the taxpayers will have to foot the bill for the court costs because the Supreme Court declined to hear the one case that appealed to them.