Curfew law discussed

Some local parents are concerned about how police officers are enforcing the teenage curfew law.

"I've lived in the community a long time, and some of the stories I'm hearing lately should not be happening," said resident Jan Hudson at last week's Del Mar Mesa Community Planning Board meeting.

Hudson said she's heard of cops parking outside of Jack In The Box on Del Mar Heights Road or Rite Aid in Del Mar Highlands, waiting to catch teens as they exit. She's also heard stories from friends about teens leaving Del Mar, where the curfew is 11 p.m., and being nabbed when they cross in to Carmel Valley, where the curfew is 10 p.m.

"We use curfew law as a tool," said Gaylon Sells, the community relations officer at Carmel Valley's Northwestern Division.

He said sometimes when they find teens in violation of curfew, they also discover they've been engaging in other offenses, such as drinking. If teens are out after curfew, they will be taken to the station and their parents will be called, he said.

"I don't see the department changing their enforcement posture," Sells said. "We're going to enforce curfew, we're going to be fair about it, but we're going to enforce it."

Sells said if a parent has a specific complaint, they should report it at the station. Stories that are passed through third parties aren't helpful in trying to solve a potential issue, he said.

Contact Sells at

gsells@pd.sandiego.gov

.

The Curfew Law

  • Curfew hours are between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • It is unlawful for any minor to be in a public place during curfew hours.
  • Exceptions: Minor is accompanied by a parent or guardian; on his/her way home from work; involved in an emergency; attending a school, religious or civic event; or on the sidewalk outside their residence.
   
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