§ 2–1543. Curfew authority; defenses; enforcement and penalties.
(a)(1) A minor commits an offense if he or she remains in any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the District of Columbia during curfew hours.
(2) A parent or guardian of a minor commits an offense if he or she knowingly permits, or by insufficient control allows, the minor to remain in any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the District of Columbia during curfew hours.
(3) The owner, operator, or any employee of an establishment commits an offense if he or she knowingly allows a minor to remain upon the premises of the establishment during curfew hours.
(b)(1) It is a defense to prosecution under this subchapter that the minor was:
(A) Accompanied by the minor’s parent or guardian;
(B) On an errand at the direction of the minor’s parent or guardian, without any detour or stop;
(C) In a motor vehicle, train, or bus involved in interstate travel;
(D) Engaged in an employment activity pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 2 of Title 32 or going to, or returning home from, an employment activity, without any detour or stop;
(E) Involved in an emergency;
(F) On the sidewalk that abuts the minor’s residence or that abuts the residence of a next-door neighbor if the neighbor did not complain to the Metropolitan Police Department about the minor’s presence;
(G) In attendance at an official school, religious, or other recreational activity sponsored by the District of Columbia, a civic organization, or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor, or going to, or returning home from, without any detour or stop, an official school, religious, or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the District of Columbia, a civic organization, or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor; or
(H) Exercising First Amendment rights protected by the United States Constitution, including free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, and the right of assembly.
(2) It is a defense to prosecution under subsection (a)(3) of this section that the owner, operator, or employee of an establishment promptly notified the Metropolitan Police Department that a minor was present on the premises of the establishment during curfew hours and refused to leave.
(c)(1) Before taking any enforcement action under this section, a police officer shall ask the apparent offender’s age and reason for being in the public place. The officer shall not issue a citation or make an arrest under this section unless the officer reasonably believes that an offense has occurred and that, based on any response and other circumstances, no defense in subsection (b) of this section is proffered or is present.
(2) If a police officer determines that a minor is committing a curfew offense, the police officer shall take the minor to the nearest available Police District headquarters or substation or other area designated by the Metropolitan Police Department.
(3) A minor who violates this subchapter shall be detained by the Metropolitan Police Department at the nearest available Police District headquarters or substation or other area designated by the Metropolitan Police Department and released into the custody of the minor’s parent, guardian, or an adult person acting in loco parentis. The minor’s parent or an adult person acting in loco parentis with respect to the minor shall be called to the Police District headquarters or substation or other designated area to take custody of the minor. A minor who is released to a person acting in loco parentis with respect to the minor shall not be taken into custody for violation of this subchapter while returning home with the person acting in loco parentis. If no one claims responsibility for the minor, the minor may be taken to the minor’s residence or placed in the custody of the appropriate official at the Family Services Administration of the Department of Human Services and, subsequently, released at 6:00 a.m. the following morning.
(d)(1) Any adult who violates a provision of this subchapter is guilty of a separate offense for each day, or part of a day, during which the violation is committed, continued, or permitted. Each offense, upon conviction, is punishable by a fine not to exceed $500 or community service.
(2) Parents or persons in loco parentis of the minor may, upon each conviction for violating this subchapter, be required to complete parenting classes pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 14 of Title 7 or Title 16.
(3) When required by § 16-2302, charges brought under this subchapter shall be transferred to the Family Division of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
(4) A minor adjudicated of a violation of this subchapter by the Family Division of the Superior Court may be ordered to perform community service of up to 25 hours for each violation.
(e)(1) The Mayor shall report to the Council, not less than 90 days prior to the expiration of this subchapter, on the curfew’s effectiveness and shall recommend that the curfew either be continued or discontinued.
(2) The Mayor shall include the following in the report required by this subsection:
(A) The number of minors detained and the number of persons fined as a result of a violation of this subchapter;
(B) The number of criminal homicides and other narcotic trafficking related crimes of violence committed during the time that this subchapter is in effect by age of persons involved and by time of day;
(C) The number of minors injured during the curfew hours as a result of crime and the cause of each injury; and
(D) The District’s net cost of enforcing the ordinance.