Is there a Teen or Juvenile Curfew in the City of Alpharetta?
The Teen Curfew is formally known as the “Juvenile Curfew” and is part of Section 13, Article V. Graffiti-Section 13-108 Under the Alpharetta Municipal Code or Municode http://www.municode.com/resources/gateway.asp?pid=12100&sid=10
Sec. 13-108. Juvenile curfew.
(a) Title of section. This section shall be known as the "City of Alpharetta Juvenile Curfew Ordinance."
(b) Findings and purpose. It is the responsibility of the city council to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the city. The city council is concerned about the increase in criminal activity engaged in by minors especially those crimes that occur after hours and/or times in which juveniles should be at home. During public hearings held in the city, many citizens voiced their concerns about the increase in youth vandalism and violence, the need to protect children and adults from being victims of crimes that occur after hours, and the need to make parents more responsible for their children. A child curfew ordinance is one (1) initiative in protecting our children from being the victims and perpetrators of crime. In an effort to keep our communities drug free and our streets safe by reducing the numbers of crimes that are committed by and against minors after hours, the city council believes that a child curfew ordinance is in the best interest of the citizens of the city. Accordingly, the city finds and declares that the purpose of this section is to reduce the number of crimes committed by and against juveniles after hours, and to safeguard the welfare of our citizens.
(c) Definitions. The following words and phrases, whenever used in this section, shall be construed as defined in this section:
Adult means a person who is at least 18 years of age and authorized by a parent or guardian to have the care and custody of a minor, or an emancipated minor.
Curfew hours means 11:00 p.m. on any Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday until 6:00 a.m. on the following day, and 11:59 p.m. on any Friday or Saturday until 6:00 a.m. on the following day.
Emancipated minor means:
(1) Any person under the age of eighteen (18) who is or has been married or who is not under the care, custody, and control of a parent, parents, guardian, person standing in locus parentis, or the juvenile court of competent jurisdiction; or
(2) Any person under the age of eighteen (18) who has had the disabilities of minority removed by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Emergency means an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action. The term includes, but is not limited to, a fire, a natural disaster, or automobile accident, or any situation requiring immediate action to prevent serious bodily injury or loss of life.
Establishment means any privately owned place of business operated for a profit to which the public is invited including, but not limited to, any place of amusement or entertainment.
Guardian means a person who, under court order, is the guardian of the person of a minor, or a public or private agency with whom a minor has been placed by the court.
Minor means any person seventeen (17) years of age or under.
Operator means any individual, firm, association, partnership, or corporation operating, managing, or conducting any establishment. The term includes the members or partners of an association or partnership and officers of a corporation.
Parent means a person who is a natural parent, an adopted parent, or stepparent of another person.
Public place means any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access that includes, but is not limited to, streets, highways, and the common areas of schools, hospitals, apartment houses, office buildings, transport facilities, and shops.
Remain means linger or stay, or fail to leave premises when requested to do so by an officer or the owner, operator, or the person in control of the premises.
Serious bodily injury means bodily injury that causes death or creates a substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
(d) Curfew for persons seventeen (17) years of age or younger.
(1) It is unlawful for any minor seventeen (17) years of age or younger, to loiter, wander, stroll, or play in or upon the public place, streets, highways, roads, alleys, parks, playgrounds or other public grounds, establishments, public buildings, places of amusement, eating places, vacant lots, or any place in the city unsupervised by an adult, parent, or guardian having the lawful authority to be at such places, between the hours of 11:00 p.m. on any day and 6:00 a.m. on the following day; provided, however, that on Fridays and Saturdays the effective hours are between 11:59 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day.
(2) It shall be unlawful for the parent, guardian, or other person having custody or control of any minor seventeen (17) years of age or younger to knowingly or, by insufficient control, to allow such minor to be in or upon the public place, streets or any other places listed in subsection (d)(1) of this section in the city between the hours of 11:00 p.m. on any day and 6:00 a.m. the following day, or on Fridays and Saturdays between the hours of 11:59 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following day, except as provided by subsection (f) of this section.
(3) It shall be unlawful for any owner, operator, or employee of an establishment to knowingly allow a minor to be in or upon the premises of an establishment in the city between the hours of 11:00 p.m. on any day and 6:00 a.m. the following day, or on Fridays and Saturdays between the hours of 11:59 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following day, except as provided by subsection (f) of this section.
(1) A minor commits an offense if he or she remains in any public place or on the premises of any establishment in the city during curfew hours.
(2) A parent or a guardian of a minor commits an offense if he or she knowingly permits, or by insufficient control allows, the minor to remain in any public place or on the premises of any establishment in the city during curfew hours.
(3) An owner, operator, or employee of an establishment commits an offense if he or she knowingly allows a minor to remain in or upon the premises of any establishment in the city during curfew hours. It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the owner, operator, or employee of an establishment promptly notified the city police department that a minor was present on the premises of the establishment during curfew hours and refused to leave.
(f) Exceptions. The provisions of this section shall not apply in the following instances:
(1) When a minor is accompanied by his or her parent, guardian, or other adult having the lawful care and custody of the minor;
(2) When the minor is upon an emergency errand directed by his or her parent or guardian or other adult person having the lawful care and custody of such minor, or if such minor is seeking medical treatment;
(3) When the minor is returning directly home from a school activity, entertainment, recreational activity, or dance;
(4) When the minor is returning directly home from lawful employment that makes it necessary to be in the above referenced places during the prescribed period of time;
(5) When the minor is attending or traveling directly to or from an activity involving the exercise of first amendment rights of free speech, freedom of assembly, or free exercise of religion;
(6) When the minor is in a motor vehicle of parental consent for normal travel. All cases of interstate travel through the city are excepted from the curfew;
(7) When the minor is an emancipated minor as defined in O.C.G.A. § 20-2-16.03(3).
(g) Violations and penalties. Penalties for violation of this section are as follows:
(1) Upon conviction of violations of this section for the first time, an adult, parent, guardian or owner, operator or employee of an establishment shall be given a warning citation. Upon further convictions, an adult, parent, guardian or owner, operator or employee of an establishment shall be subject to a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00), or imprisonment for not more than sixty (60) days, or by both this fine and imprisonment. Any adult, parent, guardian or owner, operator or employee of an establishment who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Except as otherwise provided each violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense.
(2) Adjudication of violations of this section by minors shall be made in accordance with O.C.G.A. Tit. 15 (O.C.G.A. § 15-1-1 et seq.).
(h) Enforcement. Before taking any enforcement action under this section, a city police officer shall ask the apparent offender’s age and the reason for being in the public place. The officer shall not issue a citation or make an arrest under this section unless the officer reasonably believes that an offense has occurred and that, based on any response and other circumstance that no exception listed in subsection (f) of this section is present.
(Ord. No. 535, § 1, 2-2-04)