Bad things can happen at night. That's the message of the Oklahoma City Municipal Code as it aims "to protect the health, safety, and welfare of juveniles and other persons and their property." Therefore, the city established a curfew for all people under the age of 18. Note, though, that the Bricktown entertainment district has different curfew rules. Here are details on the Oklahoma City curfew law, as well as information on Bricktown's policy, penalties for violation, and important exceptions.
Minors are not allowed to be in public places within the city limits after midnight on weekdays or 1 a.m. on weekends. The curfew period expires at 6 a.m.
In August of 2006, however, Bricktown business owners, citing a number of violent incidents involving teenagers the previous two years, petitioned the city council to establish an earlier curfew in the district. The city council unanimously approved the request, establishing an 11 p.m. curfew in Bricktown.
According to OKC police, the majority of kids found in violation of the curfew ordinance are not initially cited but rather warned. That said, it is within a police officer's power to issue a citation or even make an arrest for a curfew violation.
A citation for a curfew violation is considered a Class "a" offense in Oklahoma City and could carry a penalty of community service or a fine of up to $500.
Oklahoma City and Bricktown curfew rules do not apply to the following:
- Minors who are working
- Minors going to a late movie in Bricktown (Ticket stub needed for verification)
- Minors attending a late Bricktown sporting event (Ticket stub needed for verification)
- Minors accompanied by a parent or responsible adult
- Minors involved in an emergency such as a fire or car accident
Note also that if the minor is running an errand for a parent, guardian or another responsible adult, as long as there is no detour along the way, the minor won't be issued a curfew violation citation. This also applies to transportation to and from official functions such as a school or church event.
Oh, and if you're just passing through Oklahoma City on your way to another state, you're absolutely fine. No need to worry about the curfew.
Many might not be aware that curfew laws don't only apply to the minors. According to Oklahoma City code, a parent or other adult responsible for the minor can also be in violation of the law if he/she "knowingly" allow the child to remain in a public place past the curfew time. Even owners of businesses and employees can be cited unless they report that the juvenile refused to leave after hours.