Cracking down on curfew - Tucson News Now

Cracking down on curfew

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By Mark Stine - email

Hanging out with her friends at the Santa Rita Skate Park, 17-year-old Melody Owens knows the sun will be going down soon and she'll have to make her way home.

Melody told KOLD, "I don't understand what's the problem with kids being out past curfew if we're not doing anything wrong."

Melody says she was out after midnight this weekend picking up some friends who had been drinking at a party. "Me and my friend who was driving weren't drinking at all, so we got in trouble for curfew and everybody else got in trouble for underage drinking."

She's frustrated because she believes teens out at night for good reasons shouldn't get in trouble.

Melody explained, "Those people that aren't causing trouble are getting in trouble too. Like me and my friends, I have to pay $75 now because I wasn't doing anything wrong, but trying to help out my friends."

Melody was one of several teens picked up for curfew violations this weekend.

During the City of Tucson's curfew crackdown on Friday and Saturday night, they busted 22 teenagers.

Tucson Police Lieutenant Jim Rizzi said, "I think the numbers do say there's an issue with juvenile curfew violators in Tucson and I think it's something that parents need to be aware of."

During this weekends enforcement, Lt. Rizzi pulled over a car at 12th and Valencia. He said that car had a juvenile and alcohol inside and the child's mother had no idea he was driving around with friends.

Rizzi added, "Just the fact that they're young may not have enough life experience to make good decisions and couple that with alcohol, drugs, being in with the wrong crowd that's a set up for disaster."

Back at the skate park, she might not agree with it, but Melody Owens says she won't be out past curfew anymore. "If it has to happen we'll probably be staying in earlier, cause I don't want to pay any more money."

Tucson Police Officers will be on the lookout for curfew violators from now through August. Children 15 and under have to be in by 10 o'clock, 16 and 17-year-olds by midnight.

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