HOUSTON – The Houston Board of Aldermen heard from the public about the proposed curfew during a public hearing on the matter.
The proposed curfew is more or less an amended version of the curfew that is already on the books. The only difference being that the former curfew is for anyone under 18 years old, the proposed curfew applies to individuals over 18 as well, essentially everyone.
“At midnight I'd like to see, with everything that has been going on recently, everyone off the streets, no one walking around, anything like that,” said Police Chief Billy Voyles during the hearing. “A lot of these businesses, entertainment centers opening up, wanting to stay open until two or three in the morning, I'd love for them to be out by 12. The main reason I'm doing this is for the safety of the people of the City of Houston.”
The proposed curfew would be from 12 a.m.-5 a.m.
The main concern voiced during the hearing was a hypothetical of someone coming into town late for some reason or another, would they be pulled over and ticketed? Of which the answer was no.
They said that it is an effort to cut down on groups hanging out in town during the night time hours.
“We are talking about people outside of cars, sitting and walking around in the middle of town,” said Alderman At Large Barry Springer.
Chief Voyles clarified the meaning further.
“It doesn't affect the ones who are going to work, getting off from work, going to the hospital or the store, or something like that,” said Voyles. “No one needs to be hanging outside of the car.”
Penalties for violation of the curfew are:
First offense – $100 fine or 10 days in jail.
Second offense – $200 fine or 20 days in jail.
Third offense – $300 fine or 30 days in jail.
Ward 1 Alderlady voiced concern about the wording that had been used to explain the proposed curfew up to this point, stating that it had been said that businesses needed to shut down at midnight.
Voyles clarified the issue, saying it was only recreational businesses, businesses such as Exxon would not be affected.
No one from the public voiced any concern over the curfew, aside from the question about the driving into town that was clarified.
The board is expected to vote on the curfew soon.