Indiana still has a curfew law, and the Brazil City Police Department wants to remind parents they will enforce it.
"Parents need to know where their underage children are," Interim Brazil City Police Chief Mark Loudermilk told The Brazil Times. "It's not only about safety issues, they need to know where their children are at."
According to Loudermilk, some parents are surprised to discover their child, who was supposed to be spending the night with a friend, was not where they should be.
"It's nothing new, but parents should take the time to verify the details and the whereabouts of their children with other adults," Loudermilk said. "If underage children are caught out walking the streets past curfew, we will cite them."
Although Indiana's curfew law has been embroiled in legal battles for years, the Indiana General Assembly continues to uphold and revise it periodically to make sure the law remains constitutional.
The law establishes times when juveniles are not allowed in public places, but leaves it up to the local law enforcement agencies of city governments, municipalities and towns to enforce the curfew.
Indiana Code 31-37-3-2 states that a law enforcement officer can write a citation and/or place a minor child in custody without a legal guardian present who is:
* Age 15 or younger in a public place between 11 p.m.-5 a.m. on any day of the week,
* Age 16 or 17 in a public place between 1-5 a.m., Saturday or Sunday mornings,
* Age 16 or 17 in a public place after 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and
* Age 16 or 17 in a public place before 5 a.m., Monday through Friday.
The code allows for a minor to be out past the designated curfew if participating in, going to or returning from gainful employment, attending a school- or parental-sanctioned event, a religious, government or nonprofit event, involved in an emergency situation or has been legally emancipated.
The curfew times are not flexible. Loudermilk said juveniles should be at home or at the home of a friend designated by their parents when curfew starts, not on the way home.
"Children should be home at or before curfew starts," Loudermilk said. "And parents should know where their children are."
With more and more houses becoming empty due to economic hard times, some teenagers are using them for party spots. Loudermilk said if a resident notices unusual activity at a vacant home they should contact authorities.
"Any strange activity like that should be checked out," Loudermilk said. "It is a safety issue because its unknown what is going on inside and it could be anything, but at the least it is trespassing."
Trespassing is also an issue when teenagers hang out at parking lots owned by local businesses.
Juveniles cited for a curfew violation will cost their parents $100 per the terms of the city ordinance. Punishment for curfew violation could also mean an appearance in juvenile court for allegations of delinquency against the child.
Punishment for violation of the state curfew law is more extensive.
Officials said juveniles cited in violation of the state curfew law are referred to Juvenile Probation and Clay Circuit Court for what is called an "informal adjustment." Juveniles may be placed on an informal type of probation for three months, ordered to serve 8-16 hours of community service and ordered to pay administrative costs of approximately $45 dollars.
"People of all ages should respect business owners' property, especially when it's marked with no trespassing signs," Loudermilk said. "There is a curfew law and the city has an ordinance. If a juvenile is out past curfew, parents need to know and understand we will enforce it."