This is an item in our Local Government Toolkit.
There are at least ten local governments in Utah that make school-aged children who are outside during school hours suspects of a crime. These laws—typically called “Daytime Curfews” in local ordinances—are increasingly rare for the following reasons:
- More and more minors are participating in educational programs that do not require them to be at a school building at specified hours of the day. For example, home-schooling, dual enrollment, private, charter, and online schooling.
- With any daytime curfew law on the books—no matter how many exclusions are made for home-schooled children or children on otherwise lawful errands—police are tasked with stopping minors, asking them a series of questions, and making a determination if their response is believable.
- It overrides the child’s parents in determining at what age their child should have the freedom to travel unsupervised.
Furthermore, curfew ordinances have been the subject of legal challenges in states across the country on constitutional grounds. For these (and other) reasons, we are against reforming daytime curfew ordinances and recommend joining the vast majority of Utah counties and cities who have abolished them.
Are you a local elected official and interested in chatting with us more about this topic? Please reach out to us at email@example.com—we’d love to chat!
Relevant Libertas Work:
- 2018 HB 65 | Libertas Bill Article