The city of Lilburn is now enforcing a strict new curfew for minors.
City officials said they are trying to eliminate problems, and parents are part of the crackdown as well.
Effective immediately, 17-year-olds and those younger need to be off the streets by 11:59 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and by 11 p.m. the rest of the week. The curfew stays in effect until 6 a.m.
Teens who break the rules, and possibly their parents, face penalties. The ordinance gives officers leeway to confront potential offenders.
"They don't have to have a reasonable suspicion to stop them. They can base their decision to stop them based on this ordinance alone," Lilburn Police Chief Bruce Hedley told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh. "We can make that early intervention. We can take them home and put them where they belong."
Hedley said more and more teens are either falling victim to crimes at or night or committing them. He said the city has received 200 graffiti calls in the past five years. Business owner Maggie Calhoun recently fell victim.
"We have to pay someone else to fix it every time. It takes time, money," Calhoun said.
Police and business owners hope the new rules will curb similar calls.
According to the ordinance, an officer should take a first-time offender to their home. Teens and their parents could receive a citation for the second offense, and a third strike could lead to criminal charges.
Several parents and teens told Kavanaugh they were OK with the new rules.
"Pretty much should be that way anyhow, right? Kid does something wrong, you’ve got to take responsibility," Lilburn father Doug Bowie said.
Teen Mallory Duffield also supports the new rules.
"Sometimes, I have late babysitting or something like that, but I make sure to let people know that I need to be home," she said.
The ordinance does allow for some exceptions, including school functions, emergency errands and religious meetings.