Tuscaloosa reinforces juvenile curfew

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala., (WIAT) — It’s a word most teenagers are afraid to hear, “curfew”. Tuscaloosa police are now reinforcing the law after recent crimes involving teenage victims and suspects. The Tuscaloosa City Council passed a juvenile curfew aimed at reducing crime in 2010. It applies to anyone younger than 18.

Minors are prohibited from being in public places between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. on Sunday through Thursday. The curfew is in effect between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. 

“Some people tend to forget that we do have a juvenile curfew law,” says Tuscaloosa Lt. Teena Richardson. Richardson says when police arrest a minor for curfew violation, the minor is taken into custody and held until the minor’s parent or guardian comes to take them home. The guardian will also be given a citation.

 “It’s to try to combat some of the crime in the city and try to get some of these kids off of these streets after hours,” says Richardson. 

On Sunday a 14-year-old was charged with murder of 18-yr-old Elexis McCool. 

Tuscaloosa City Councilor, Kip Tyner, says “In light of recent events we need to enforce this curfew with a heavy hand and place the burden back on the family to be responsible for getting their kids off the streets and home We must be aggressive and proactive.”

Here are the exceptions allowing minors to be out after curfew hours:

Other exceptions that allow minors to be out after curfew hours include minors who are:

• accompanied by an adult,

• on a legal errand directed by the minor’s parent or custodian,

• going to or from lawful employment within an hour of beginning and an hour of ending work,

• involved in an emergency,

• standing on a sidewalk or right of way next to the minor’s home,

• married or otherwise emancipated from parental authority,

• attending a bona fide work/study program,

• members of the armed services,

• enrolled in a college, university or vocational/technical school,

• receiving health-care services.

Tuscaloosa police also have the discretion to take a minor into custody regardless of the exception. 

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