Proposed amendments to Butte-Silver Bow's curfew laws for youths are before commissioners Wednesday.

Council's judiciary committee is scheduled to begin discussing an ordinance that would amend a portion of municipal code.

An ordinance already on the books has varying age ranges, times of the week and year in which youngsters may not be on city streets, which makes it difficult to enforce, said Commissioner Glen Granger.

He hopes the proposed amendments will keep youths off the streets at night and reduce vandalism and other crimes.

"Hopefully it will give the sheriff's department some better leverage," Granger said.

Commissioner Cindi Shaw credited Granger with proposing the amendments, which she agreed are needed in an effort to decrease crime in the Mining City.

"They are being redesigned so they have some teeth in them and they are more easily enforced," she said.

Granger said the ordinance likely won't go before the full council for a final vote until this summer, however.

Similar to the existing ordinance, parents still would face possible misdemeanor charges in city court when their children are found in violation of the ordinance, which carries a penalty of up to six months in jail or a $500 fine.

Meanwhile, youths who violate the ordinance would be cited into juvenile probation, Granger said. Juveniles would face status offenses, which are not as severe as a misdemeanor and may only be charged against youngsters, he said.

The draft ordinance would simplify the law with year-round curfews of 10 p.m. for children age 14 and younger. The curfew for children age 14 to 18 would be midnight, Granger said.

The judiciary committee meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the courthouse, followed by the full council in committee at 7:30 p.m.

Reporter Justin Post may be reached at justin.post@lee.net or by telephone, 496-5572.

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