Curfew times throughout suburbs largely identical
Chicago officials are cracking down on late-night teenage rowdiness downtown by instituting a 10 p.m. curfew on Fridays and Saturdays to match one already in place for the rest of the week -- with even tougher rules for Millennium Park.
In the suburbs though, curfews for minors are slightly more lenient, but also rarely enforced, police officials said.
Most suburbs set curfews for minors at 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays that last until 6 a.m. the following days. On weekends, curfews are generally set at midnight Saturdays and Sundays until 6 a.m.
"It's not something we really deal with a whole lot," said Wauconda Police Chief Dave Wermes. "Maybe once summertime gets here it may become an issue, but it's never really a high-volume citation for us."
Wermes said his department issues less than 10 curfew violations a year.
That mirrors data provided by the DuPage County circuit court clerk's office that showed 39 such violations issued by law enforcement agencies throughout the county in both 2020 and 2021 were prosecuted at the courthouse. So far this year, just three curfew violations have been adjudicated at the county level.
In 2017, more than 250 curfew violations were adjudicated at the courthouse in Wheaton, the court clerk's records show. In recent years, some citations may have been handled locally though and wouldn't show up in the court clerk's system, officials said.
Aurora and Waukegan both have curfew laws that vary depending on the age of minors.
In Aurora, anyone under the age of 16 has a curfew of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. all week long. Minors 16 and older have the standard curfew seen in other towns.
In Waukegan, the curfew is set for children 13 and younger at 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following morning. For 14- and 15-year-olds, it's 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Then for 16- and 17-year-olds, the curfew is similar to what is set for all children in most other suburbs.
"In almost all cases we try to reach out to parents and have an educational conversation with them about the dangers of being out past midnight," Aurora officer Jay Leonardi said. "We issue citations or make arrests as a last resort."
In almost all cases, there are exceptions to curfews for minors who are accompanied by parents, guardians or a "responsible adult."
There are also exceptions for children working past curfew, those participating in activities at school and church or supervised by an adult that provides educational, recreational or training opportunities. Children experiencing an emergency of any kind cannot be cited for curfew violations as well, according to most suburban municipal codes.
While curfew times are largely identical from one suburb to the next, the fine structures for violations vary widely, ranging from as little as $75 to as much as $1,000.
Parents and guardians are also subject to fines as well in many suburbs if they "knowingly allow or assist a minor" to violate curfew.