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An Overview Of Curfews In Colorado
The state of Colorado, as well as the major cities Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo don’t currently have any curfews for adults at the time of writing this article(August of 2021). There is however, an ongoing curfew for teen drivers throughout the state of Colorado and a few cities have similar youth curfews restricting them from being in public late at night. There have also been short periods in the past where some cities in Colorado have enacted curfew laws for all residents to prevent public harm but these are all in the past and typically only last a few days to a few weeks.
Colorado Curfew Laws
The state of Colorado doesn’t typically impose curfews on adults at all unless it is to protect the general public from dangerous events or to prevent the spread of diseases and/or viruses which are usually still imposed by local city governments. However, the law in Colorado does state that teen drivers with less than one year of driving experience must not be driving between 12am and 5am. This law was designed to prevent accidents from happening with inexperienced drivers because driving while tired leads to a much higher risk of getting in an accident and it also discourages teens from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There are exceptions to this law though that allows teen drivers to be out during the forbidden period. Some of these exceptions are:
- The driver has a parent or legal guardian in the vehicle with them.
- There is a passenger over the age of 21 who has held a drivers license for more than one year.
- They are driving because of a medical or family emergency.
- They are driving for work or school activities(a signed statement is required from the party requesting the teen to drive).
- If the teen driver has emancipated and doesn’t have a legal guardian.
The teen driver curfew is the only current curfew that is ongoing and imposed by the state of Colorado, adults may drive at any time with a valid driver’s license and while sober.
Denver Curfew Laws
Besides the state imposed teen driver curfew, Denver city officials imposed a general curfew for teens in public at night. This is called the SafeNight Curfew Program that forbids teens between the age of 10 and 17 years old from being in public spaces between the hours of 11pm-5am Sunday through Thursday and 12am-5am Friday and Saturday. Some surrounding cities such as Aurora, Boulder, Centennial, Lakewood and Littleton also have teen curfew ordinances. Even though most teen crimes happen during the day, after school hours, many teen crimes do happen at night and teens are much more likely to get hurt by a third party during these hours as well. So the law was made to protect teens from getting into trouble and also to prevent assaults, abductions and other threats. There are a few exceptions to this law such as:
- The youth is with a parent or guardian.
- The youth is responding to a medical or family emergency as directed by their parent or guardian.
- The youth is in a vehicle being used for interstate travel.
- The youth is accompanied by an adult over the age of 18 that has explicit written permission from the youths parent or legal guardian to have them out that late.
- The youth is going directly to work or school related activities.
Denver also recently had a temporary curfew to stop the spread of the coronavirus which imposed a 10pm curfew for all residents unless at work or travelling for essential activities, and it was from November 8,2020 to December 7, 2020.
Colorado Springs Curfew Laws
There are no curfews in place for Colorado Springs adults at the time of writing, but teen drivers with less than one year of driving experience in Colorado Springs are still subject to the curfew laws stated above. There was previously a nighttime curfew enacted by the local government to keep residents safe and avoid violence during the George Floyd protests that took place. This curfew banned individuals from public places within Colorado Springs from 10pm-5am beginning on June 3, 2020 and ending on June 8, 2020.
Penalties For Breaking Curfew Laws
The Denver SafeNight program doesn’t have any major penalties for teens being caught in public places during the curfew, however they could be given a citation. Most cases though, the teen is offered a diversion program that is designed to enroll the teens in extracurricular activities and keep them safe. Most teens get the diversion program and almost all of them complete it successfully and don’t pay any fines or have anything on their record from it.
Teen drivers caught driving past curfew hours will be met with a citation, a fine up to $50, 2 points on their license and 8-24 hours of community service that is mandatory. If the teen is caught a second time, the fine increases to up to $150 and mandatory community service hours go up to the range of 16-40 hours.
Curfews imposed during the pandemic and protests come with hefty fines of up to $2,500 and jail time of up to 189 days or a combination of the two, but most penalties are much lower than these limits and penalties are based off of the severity of the incident and other circumstances to be determined by the judge.
What Do Curfew Laws Mean For You?
Obviously the fines and jail time penalties for the adult curfews are not something anyone wants to have to deal with as those penalties are pretty steep, but the teen driver and teen curfew laws are much more lenient. The major risks that come from breaking curfew laws are the risk of being in an accident or injuring someone else during times that curfew is imposed. This means that if you were driving past curfew and hit a pedestrian with your car, the injured person can say that you were negligent by being out after curfew which can mean you are much more liable for any damages and compensation than had you not been out after curfew. The same goes for teen drivers out past curfew as well.
If you get yourself into a situation where the person is suing you for a personal injury claim and you were not obeying curfew laws, you are very likely to be found liable for the incident which could cost you a lot more out of pocket. Do yourself a favor and stay inside during any curfews that apply to you and you won’t have to worry about these issues.
In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a personal injury case that involves a breach of curfew, contact our Colorado Springs personal injury law firm right away for help with your case. We have decades of experience handling all types of personal injury cases and have the knowledge to get you a favorable outcome with your settlement or trial. Don’t try to take on your injury lawsuit yourself, give us a call today for a free consultation with a top rated Colorado Springs attorney.
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We serve clients injured anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Briargate, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County, Douglas County and beyond.