Twin Lakes toughens parental responsibility law

tlpd-bike-cropParents whose children repeatedly run afoul of the village now face tougher penalties under a new Twin Lakes law.

The new ordinance provides a penalty from $25 to $500 for those convicted under its provisions.

The ordinance says any custodial parent whose child has a municipal code violation twice within six months or three or more times within a year is failing to properly supervise the child and can be prosecuted under the ordinance. Defense against conviction include:

  • Not being legally responsible for the supervision of the child.
  • The parent having a physical or mental disability rendering them incapable of supervising the child,.
  • The parent reported the child’s violation to police when it occurred or shortly after.

Chief Dale R. Racer called the former ordinance “antiquated, vague” and “very restrictive.” It only held a parent responsible when the child “does an act that is wilful and malicious, causing injury to a person or causes property damage.”

“Under this ordinance the police department ┬áhas limited recourse to hold parents responsible for their children,” Racer wrote about the old ordinance in a memo asking that the new ordinance be drafted. “The police department is repeatedly issuing ┬ámunicipal citation to the same juveniles, such as curfew, underage drinking, truancy, etc. and the parents are failing to take responsibility for these acts by their repeat offender.”

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