Parents of Lansing minors will likely have to pay stiffer fines if their children violate the municipal curfew, Lansing City Council members determined at Thursday’s work session. A vote on the change will come at an action meeting later.

Parents of Lansing minors will likely have to pay stiffer fines if their children violate the municipal curfew, Lansing City Council members determined at Thursday’s work session. A vote on the change will come at an action meeting later.

Beth Sanford, the city’s financial manager, said the municipal court judge recommended the change. Municipal courts throughout the county will be considering such a change, since Sanford said curfew violations have been a problem countywide. Council members asked for Lansing’s statistics specifically and learned that 10 violations were reported over the past year.

The penalties for violating the curfew would jump from $25 to $100. A second conviction would be $200 with each subsequent violation being assessed $100 more, up to a maximum of $1,000.

The curfew for minors 15-under would be between 10:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. The suggestion had been to make the curfew for minors 16 and 17 11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. It is now 12:30 a.m. to 6 a.m.

Council member Tony McNeill objected to making the curfew an hour earlier for 16- and 17-year-olds. His own children have a midnight curfew and he doesn’t think a municipal judge should dictate an earlier curfew.

Ultimately his argument convinced other council members, who seem comfortable with leaving the curfew at the current 12:30 a.m. to 6 a.m.

Council member Jesse Garvey pointed out the ordinance allows some exceptions, such as going to and from work, school activities, city functions and the like. But police could ticket minors if they were in cars in the parking lot of a convenience store converged with other teens, to cite one example.

Under the ordinance, the police officer is to request that the minor provide contact information for his parents or guardian, who would be expected to pick up the minor. At that point, the citation would be served to the parent.

If the minor refused to provide the information, he or she would be admitted to the Juvenile Intake Center.

If the parent was unable to come get their child when initially stopped for the curfew violation, the police officer would take the minor home and then serve the citation to the parent.