Raising North Dakota: Curfews For Our Kids

Good Day Dakota

As your child gets older, it’s important to loosen the reigns a little so they can make more of their own choices.

But who should decide the curfew for your teenager?

Alysia Huck dove into the topic in this week’s Raising North Dakota.

You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘Nothing good happens after midnight.’

As teenagers, however, we didn’t want the night to end, but city-enforced curfews have been around for many years.

“You start getting into trouble is usually when it gets late, so that is why we have the curfew laws as they sit right now,” says Tripp Vroman, dad.

Most city curfews apply to kids under the age of 18, but as Lieutenant Luke Gardiner says, that doesn’t mean parents can’t decide on their own curfew.

“We’re not telling parents they can’t have their kids home at 9 o’clock at night,” says Bismarck Police Department Lieutenant Luke Gardiner.

Curfew laws vary from city to city, but in a nutshell, they mean your child cannot be wandering or driving around after hours unless they are with a guardian or in transit from between home and work or organized event.

Tripp Vroman is a parent who doesn’t have a specific curfew for his kids but makes sure they are following the city ordinance.

“I trust they will be at the locations they say they’ll be,” says Vroman.

So what happens if law enforcement finds a minor out after hours, and how do they enforce this law?

“We would maybe call a parent, we can bring them home, if they’re driving a car we’ll send them home,” says Lieutenant Gardiner. “If we’re in communication with the parent who tells their kid to go home, we’re going to rely on the parent to make sure the kid gets home.”

Another piece of advice …

“You are in charge of your children, not us, and if we find them out past that curfew, you’re probably going to get a phone call from us. Okay? What we do after that is probably a collaboration between the officer on the street and the parents,” says Lieutenant Gardiner.

Most cities have their own city enforced curfew for minors.

We looked into the curfew times for several cities in the region, and most say that it is unlawful for a minor to be out between 10:30 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Some city curfews are a bit later, others a bit earlier, so it’s a good idea to contact local city officials or law enforcement for the curfew in your community.

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