MEXICO — The Planning Board agreed Thursday evening to draft an ordinance prohibiting youths from being alone on the streets late at night.

Chairman Dan Casey said he placed the item on the agenda so the board could discuss whether it was a good idea.

Member Reggie Arsenault said he liked the idea and ran it past police Chief Roy Hodsdon.

“I talked with the chief, and he said that he supported the idea 110 percent,” Arsenault said. “I explained to him what we were thinking, and he said, ‘You have my total support.’ However, we did speculate that if we do make a time, it should be around 10 or 11 p.m. He said that’s the time that they typically start telling people to be quiet if they’re being too loud.”

According to Arsenault, Hodsdon also suggested requiring children under the age of 16 to be accompanied by someone 21 years or older.

“In the past, they would have to be accompanied by someone 18 or older, but it should be 21,” Arsenault said.


Casey agreed the curfew should begin at 11 p.m., or “even midnight.”

Board member Mabel Merrill said she thought 10 p.m. was a reasonable time to set a curfew. “There’s not really anything for people to do after 10 p.m,” she said.

“Except to break into places,” Casey said.

Merrill said police would have to use their judgment, because some youths might be walking home from work or from a friend’s house.

Casey asked the board if the curfew would pertain to 16-year-olds driving a vehicle.

Arsenault said the curfew would be meant for children on the streets. “If a 16-year-old is pulled over and isn’t with an adult, the police should be able to do something,” he said.


“There’s no law against a 16-year-old being out at night in a vehicle when they have a license,” Casey said. “There’s no state law prohibiting that. Let’s say a 16-year-old is coming back from Portland, and they’re running a little late and it’s past midnight. They have the right to be out that late.”

“How many times are you going to see a 16-year-old driving back from Portland at night?” member Dave Errington asked.

According to the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles website, children under the age of 18 are prohibited from driving between midnight and 5 a.m. for 270 days after they receive their license.

Arsenault said he would call Hodsdon and get his advice on what time the curfew should begin and other provisions that should be included in it.

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