LA MARQUE — La Marque’s city council gave preliminary approval to a measure that would set the curfew for minors at 10:30 p.m. on weekdays instead of midnight.
La Marque’s city council unanimously approved a change to the city’s curfew ordinance Monday. The City Council will have a public hearing at its next meeting before voting on the new ordinance a second time.
It is now unlawful for anyone 17 and younger to be in a public place from 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m. every day and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on school days.
If the council gives the new ordinance its second approval, the evening curfew will change to 10:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and midnight to 6 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
The daytime curfew will be adjusted to 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on school days.
“We just felt like (the curfew) needs to be a little more restrictive than midnight every night,” said Police Chief Randall Aragon.
Violating the city’s curfew can lead to a $500 fine — it is a Class C misdemeanor — but often police officers will take the child their home and talk with the parents, Aragon said.
Aragon told the council that the police department handled 15 cases of minors violating curfew last year. Five out of the 15 people stopped were fined, he said.
Texas City’s curfew for those 17 and younger begins at 11:30 p.m.
League City’s curfew begins at midnight.
Galveston has a split curfew that begins at 10 p.m. for those 15 and younger and at midnight for those 17 and younger.
Texas City and Galveston also use daytime curfews when schools are in session.
Aragon said the curfews help keep children safe and out of trouble.
“It keeps them from being victims and keeps them from perpetrating crimes,” he said. “They don’t have that opportunity to be around others that might influence them.”