Curfews are a way for government officials and law enforcement officers to ensure safety for a particular jurisdiction. Around the country, curfews were put into place for various reasons, often during disasters or times of social unrest. Additionally, there are some areas where curfews are put into place for those under the age of 18. Here, we want to examine whether or not Colorado has any curfew laws in place that you need to be aware of.
Why do Curfews Matter?
Curfews, when they are used, get put into place for a reason. This could be in response to a recent emergency, such as a natural disaster or social unrest. Curfews have also been used in various places to control the rapid spread of infectious diseases or viruses. These curfews give local officials the ability to better contain or control the emergency. However, curfews are generally not popular, and they are usually against the general overall idea of personal freedom.
Curfews in Colorado
The state of Colorado does not have curfews that revolve around the movement of adults, though the state or local governments could implement a curfew if needed to handle an emergency. However, state law does place limitations on teenage drivers who have less than one year of driving experience.
The law says that these drivers are not allowed to drive a vehicle between the hours of 12 AM and 5 AM. This law was implemented in order to prevent accidents occurring as a result of driver inexperience combined with fatigued driving. Additionally, the law seeks to prevent teenagers from driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
There are exceptions to these teenage driving restrictions. This includes:
- Drivers who have their parent or guardian in the vehicle with them
- Drivers who have a passenger over the age of 21 who has had a driver’s license of their own for more than a year
- Those driving due to a medical or family emergency
- Those driving to and from school or work activities (this requires a statement signed by the party requesting the teen to drive)
- Drivers who are emancipated and have no legal guardian
Denver’s SafeNite Curfew
The city of Denver implemented a law in 1994 that imposes a curfew on teens out in public at night. This SafeNite Curfew Program prohibits individuals aged 10 to 17 from being out in public spaced between the hours of 11 PM and 5 AM on Sunday through Thursday and from 12 AM to 5 AM on Fridays and Saturdays.
Cities surrounding Denver (Aurora, Boulder, Centennial, Lakewood, Littleton) have also implemented teen curfews. These laws are in place to prevent crimes that are more likely to happen at night and to prevent teenagers from being harmed by third parties. There are exceptions to the SafeNite law. Youth can be out:
- With their parent or guardian
- If they have written permission and are with a person 18 or older
- If they are responding to a medical or family emergency
- If they are in a vehicle involved in interstate travel
- If they are going to or from work or school-related activities