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|Councilmember Harold Brizill
A BILL IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
To establish a curfew for juveniles 17 years of age and under in the District of Columbia, to provide for parental responsibility for implementation of the act, and to provide for exceptions to the act and amend the District of Columbia Traffic Act of 1925 to impose driving restrictions on minors.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the Juvenile Curfew Act of 1995
(a) The Council of the District of Columbia (Council) has determined that there has been an increase in juvenile violence, juvenile gang activity, and crime by persons under the age of 17 years in the District of Columbia.
(b) The Council has determined that persons age 17 years and under are particularly susceptible, because of their lack of maturity and experience, to participate in unlawful and gang-related activities and to be the victims of older perpetrators of crime.
(c) The Council has an obligation to provide for the protection of minors from each other and from other persons, for the enforcement of parental control over, and responsibility for, children, for the protection of the general public, and for the reductions of the incidence of juvenile criminal activities.
(d) The Council has determined that a curfew for those aged 17 years and under will be in the interest of the public health, safety, and general welfare and will help to attain these objectives and to diminish the undesirable impact of this conduct on the citizens of the District of Columbia.
(e) The Council determines that passage of a curfew law will protect the welfare of minors by:
For the purposes of this act, the term:
(1) Curfew hours means from 11 :00 p.m. on any Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, until 6:00 a.m. on the following day and from 12:01 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. on any Saturday or Sunday.
(2) Emergency means an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action. The term emergency includes, but is not limited to, a fire, a natural disaster, an automobile accident, or any situation that requires immediate action to prevent serious bodily injury or loss of life.
(3) 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.
(4) 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 a court.
(5) Minor means any person under the age of 17 years, but does not include a judicially emancipated minor or a married minor.
(6) Narcotic trafficking means the act of engaging in any prohibited activity related to narcotic drugs or controlled substances as defined in the District of Columbia Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 1981, effective August 5, 1981 (D.C. Law 4-29; D.C. Code §33-501 et seq.).
(7) Operator means any individual, firm, association, partnership, or corporation that operates, manages, or conducts any establishment. The term operator includes the members or partners of an association or partnership and the officers of a corporation.
(8) Parent means a natural parent, adoptive parent, or step-parent, or any person who has legal custody by court order or marriage.
(9) Public place means any place to which the public, or a substantial group of the public, has access, and includes, but is not limited to, streets, highways, and the common areas of schools, hospitals, apartment houses, office buildings, transport facilities, and shops.
(10) Remain means to linger or stay or fail to leave the premises when requested to do so by a police officer or the owner, operator or other person in control of the premises.
(11) Serious bodily injury means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk or death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
Sec. 4. Curfew authority; defenses; enforcement and penalties.
(a)(1) A minor commits an offense if he or she remains in any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the District of Columbia during curfew hours.
(b)(1) It is a defense to adjudication under this act that the minor was:
(d)(1) Any adult who violates a provision of this act is guilty of a separate offense for each day, or part of a day, during which the violation is committed, continued, or permitted. Each offense, upon conviction, is punishable by a fine not to exceed $500 or community service.
(e)(1) The Mayor shall report to the Council, not less than 90 days prior to the expiration of this act, on the curfews effectiveness and shall recommend that the curfew either be continued or discontinued.
Sec. 5. Driving restrictions for minors.
Section 7 of the District of Columbia Traffic Act of 1925, approved March 3, 1925 (43 Stat. 1121; D.C. Code §40-301), is amended by adding a new subsection (g) to read as follows:
(a) This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), approval by the Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority as provided in section 203(a) of the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995, approved April 17, 1995 (109 Stat. 116; D.C. Code 47-392.3(a)), a 30-day period of Congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; 233(c)(1)), and publication in the District of Columbia Register.
(b) This act shall expire 2 years after its effective date.
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