Curfew


Curfew

A curfew is an order specifying a time after which certain regulations apply.[1] Examples:

  1. An order by a government for certain persons to return home daily before a certain time. It can be imposed to maintain public order (such as those after the Northeast Blackout of 2003, the 2005 civil unrest in France, the 2010 Chile earthquake and 2011 Egyptian revolution), or suppress targeted groups. Curfews have long been directed at certain groups in many cities or states, such as Japanese-American university students on the West Coast of the United States during World War II, African-Americans in many towns during the time of Jim Crow laws, or people younger than a certain age (usually within a few years either side of 18) in many towns of the United States since the 1980s; see below.
  2. An order by the legal guardians of a teenager to return home by a specific time, usually in the evening or night. This may apply daily, or is separate per occasion or varies with the day of the week, i.e., if the minor has to go to school the next day.
  3. A daily requirement for guests to return to their hostel before a specified time, usually in the evening or night.
  4. In baseball, a time after which a game must end, or play be suspended. For example, in the American League the curfew rule for many years decreed that no inning could begin after 1 am local time (with the exception of international games).
  5. In aeronautics, night flying restrictions may restrict aircraft operations over a defined period in the nighttime, to limit the disruption of aircraft noise on the sleep of nearby residents. A notable example are the London airports of Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, which operate under the Quota Count system.
  6. In a few locations in the UK patrons of licensed premises may not enter after a "curfew" time. In Inverclyde for example this is currently set at 11:30pm.

Contents

Etymology

The word "curfew" comes from the French phrase "couvre-feu" which means "cover the fire". It was used to describe the time of blowing out all lamps and candles. It was later adopted into Middle English as "curfeu", which later became the modern "curfew".[2]

Examples of curfews in different countries

Denmark

The police in two cities Silkeborg and Slagelse have announced that they will detain children less than 15 years of age at the police station and inform their parents to take them home from the station if they are found in town between midnight and 5 am. There is no law in Denmark at this time instituting a national curfew, so children are usually not punished or warned in any way.[3][4] The authorities in Aarhus have only suggested it and have sent a letter to the parents.[5]

Iceland

Under Iceland's Child Protection Act (no. 80/2002 Art. 92), children aged 12 and under may not be outdoors after 20:00 (8:00 p.m.) unless accompanied by an adult. Children aged 13 to 16 may not be outdoors after 22:00 (10:00 p.m.), unless on their way home from a recognized event organized by a school, sports organization or youth club. During the period 1 May to 1 September, children may be outdoors for two hours longer.

Children and teenagers that break curfew are taken to the local police station and police officers inform their parents to get them. The age limits stated here shall be based upon year of birth, not date of birth. If a parent cannot be reached, the child or teenager is taken to a shelter.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom's 2003 Anti-Social Behaviour Act created zones that allow police from 9 PM to 6 AM to hold and escort home unaccompanied minors under the age of 16, whether badly behaved or not. Although hailed as a success,[6] the High Court ruled in one particular case that the law did not give the police a power of arrest, and officers could not force someone to come with them. On appeal the court of appeal held that the act gave police powers to escort minors home only if they are involved in, or at risk from, actual or imminently anticipated bad behaviour. [7]

In a few towns in the United Kingdom, the curfew bell is still rung as a continuation of the medieval tradition where the bell used to be rung from the parish church to guide travelers safely towards a town or village as darkness fell, or when bad weather made it difficult to follow trackways and for the villagers to extinguish their lights and fires as a safety measure to combat accidental fires. Until 1100 it was against the law to burn any lights after the ringing of the curfew bell. In Morpeth, the curfew is rung each night at 8pm from Morpeth Clock Tower. In Chertsey, it is rung at 8pm, from Michaelmas to Lady Day.[8] A short story concerning the Chertsey curfew, set in 1471, and entitled "Blanche Heriot. A legend of old Chertsey Church" was published by Albert Richard Smith in 1843, and formed a basis for the poem "Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight". At Castleton in the Peak District, the curfew is rung from Michaelmas to Shrove Tuesday.[9] At Wallingford in Oxfordshire, the curfew bell continues to be rung at 9pm rather than 8pm which is a one hour extension granted by William The Conqueror as the Lord of the town was a Norman sympathiser. However, none of these curfew bells serve their original function.

United States

Curfew law in the United States is usually a matter of state law, rather than federal law. However, the Constitution guarantees certain rights, which have been applied to the states through the 14th Amendment. Hence, any state's curfew law may be overruled and struck down if, for example, it violates the teen's 1st, 4th, 5th or 14th Amendment rights (or the parent's 9th Amendment right to privacy in parenting). Nonetheless, curfews are set by state and local governments. They vary by state[10] and even by county or municipality. In some cities there are curfews for persons under the age of 18.

See also

People

  • Don A. Allen, member of the California State Assembly and of the Los Angeles City Council in the 1940s and 1950s, urged enforcement of curfew laws

Notes

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Curfew — Cur few (k[^u]r f[=u]), n. [OE. courfew, curfu, fr. OF. cuevrefu, covrefeu, F. couvre feu; covrir to cover + feu fire, fr. L. focus fireplace, hearth. See {Cover}, and {Focus}.] 1. The ringing of an evening bell, originally a signal to the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • curfew — (n.) early 14c., evening signal, ringing of a bell at a fixed hour, from Anglo Fr. coeverfu (late 13c.), from O.Fr. cuevrefeu, lit. cover fire (Mod.Fr. couvre few), from cuevre, imper. of covrir to cover (see COVER (Cf. cover) (v.)) + feu fire… …   Etymology dictionary

  • curfew — ► NOUN 1) a regulation requiring people to remain indoors between specified hours, typically at night. 2) the time at which such a restriction begins. ORIGIN originally denoting a regulation requiring fires to be extinguished at a fixed hour in… …   English terms dictionary

  • curfew — [kʉr′fyo͞o΄] n. [ME curfeu < OFr covrefeu, lit., cover fire < covrir (see COVER) + feu, fire < L focus, fireplace: see FOCUS] 1. a) in the Middle Ages, the ringing of a bell every evening as a signal for people to cover fires, put out… …   English World dictionary

  • curfew — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ strict ▪ 24 hour, dusk to dawn ▪ night, night time ▪ 7 p.m., etc …   Collocations dictionary

  • curfew — n. 1) to impose a curfew 2) to lift a curfew 3) a midnight curfew * * * [ kɜːfjuː] a midnight curfew to impose a curfew to lift a curfew …   Combinatory dictionary

  • curfew — noun Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo French coverfeu, signal given to bank the hearth fire, curfew, from coverir to cover + fu, feu fire, from Latin focus hearth Date: 14th century 1. the sounding of a bell at evening < the Curfew tolls the …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • curfew — cur|few [ˈkə:fju: US ˈkə:r ] n [U and C] [Date: 1200 1300; : Old French; Origin: covrefeu signal to put out fires, curfew , from covrir to cover + feu fire ] 1.) a law that forces people to stay indoors after a particular time at night, or the… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • curfew — /kerr fyooh/, n. 1. an order establishing a specific time in the evening after which certain regulations apply, esp. that no civilians or other specified group of unauthorized persons may be outdoors or that places of public assembly must be… …   Universalium

  • curfew — cur•few [[t]ˈkɜr fyu[/t]] n. 1) an order establishing a time in the evening after which certain regulations apply, esp. that no unauthorized persons may be outdoors or that places of public assembly must be closed 2) a regulation requiring a… …   From formal English to slang


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