Parents, businesses in Lake View could be fined under new curfew law

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LAKE VIEW, SC (WBTW) – Any juvenile out past 11 p.m. or before 6 a.m. without an adult in Lake View now will be breaking the law.

Anyone operating a business that allows teens to be on its premises during curfew hours also will be breaking the law, according to the ordinance. It’s also against the law for any parent or guardian to allow a juvenile to violate the curfew.

Any parent, guardian or business operator who violates the curfew is subject to a $250 fine plus court costs and possible community service.

The town approved a curfew for people under 17 years old on Tuesday after repeated complaints of juveniles during the late night and early morning.

Officials say the town has been experiencing many problems related to teens wandering after 11 p.m. unsupervised “in a manner that exposes both the juveniles and the citizens of the Town to dangerous situations.”

“The public has been found to be highly and strongly in favor of a proposed curfew,” town officials state in the findings section of the ordinance. “Juvenile should be protected from each other and older people on the street during late nighttime and early morning hours,” and “the town desires to protect the public and reduce juvenile crime and violence by enactment of this chapter.”

A first offender of the curfew will be taken home. A repeat offender will be referred to the department of juvenile justice. If the juvenile is 10 years old or younger, the incident report will be forwarded to the county department of social services.

The law says the teen or child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, which is defined as someone at least 21 years of age and authorized by the parent or guardian to have care and custody of the juvenile.

Here are defenses and exceptions outlined in the ordinance:

  1. A juvenile who is accompanied by his parent or guardian.
  2. A juvenile who is on an errand at the direction of the juvenile’s parent or guardian, without any detour or stopping.
  3. A juvenile who is in a motor vehicle involved in interstate travel.
  4. A juvenile engaged in an employment activity, or going to or returning home from an employment activity, without detour or stopping.
  5. A juvenile who is out because of a verifiable emergency of the juvenile or someone in such juvenile’s family.
  6. A juvenile who is on his residential property or property of a next=door neighbor, if the neighbor does not complain to the police department about the juvenile’s presence.
  7. A juvenile who is attending an official school, religious or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the town, a civic organization or other entity that takes responsibility for the juvenile, or who is going to or returning home from such activity without any stop or detour.

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