Kent voters may have a chance to decide in September whether they want a curfew law on the books.
The curfew would replace a city law that hasn’t been enforced since a state Court of Appeals decision June 2 declared a similar ordinance in Bellingham unconstitutional.
The proposed ordinance, on which the City Council is scheduled to vote today, says juveniles must be off city streets and out of public areas from midnight to 6 a.m. daily.
Teenagers would be exempt if they are riding in a vehicle, running an errand for a parent or other adult or heading to or from a job. Teenagers also would be exempt if they are exercising their First Amendment rights, such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech or right of assembly.
A first violation of the proposed ordinance would mean a warning. Second and third violations, if they occur within a year of the first, would result in fines of $100 and $250, respectively.
Connie Epperly, who helped lead the drive for the existing curfew before being elected to the City Council, said judges eventually will support curfews.
“The more the public gets behind these things, (the more) the courts will have to perk up,” Epperly said. “They’re elected, too.”
Kent’s current curfew ordinance was passed with more than 70 percent of the vote in an April 1995 election.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.