Posted on January 5, 2012 at 9:58 AM
Thursday, Jan 5 at 10:01 AM
Scott Satchfield / Eyewitness News
What did our viewers have to say about the proposed curfew?
NEW ORLEANS -- At the Bourbon Heat bar on Sunday, a group of Who Dats hung on every play as the Saints took care of the Tennessee Titans.
It's a typical crowd for this club on a Sunday afternoon, although Gary Manzur, Bourbon Heat’s manager, said he often sees young teenagers out and about elsewhere on Bourbon Street, even at night.
"What is a 16-year-old kid gonna do on Bourbon Street, which is only 21 and up to drink, you know," he said.
A crackdown could be coming though.
This week, the City Council is set to consider an ordinance that would change curfew times for 16-year-olds and younger, in the areas bounded by Canal Street and Elysian Fields, Rampart and the Mississippi River.
"First and foremost, it's to keep our children safe,” said District C Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer.
Curfew times on weekends in the area would change from 11:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. -- three hours earlier.
While the measure aims to keep kids safe,it also targets teenage troublemakers.
"In this year alone, as of December 1, there's been almost 800 arrests of juveniles in the French Quarter, you know, that shouldn't be there after hours, you know, and they're drinking and what have you," Palmer said.
French Quarter businesses we talked with said the idea has been a long time coming, and they believe, if it passes, it'll help cut out some of the problems they've been seeing, especially on Bourbon Street.
Robert Watters, a club owner and President of the Bourbon Street Business Alliance, said, simply put, it's no place for minors to be roaming at night.
"I think the idea of reducing the impact on bar owners who are worried about, of course, fake ID's, and of course, assisting the police in terms of keeping innocent people off the street and keeping young people safe, it's a good idea," Watters said.
"I actually think it would be a good idea,” Manzur said. “I mean, the first thing is, I have to deal with a lot of young kids trying to get in the door, you know, fake ID's, which is pretty much the biggest thing for us."
The curfew ordinance would have several exceptions, including minors who are accompanied by a parent or guardian, those who are traveling to and from work, or teens who are running a "reasonable errand."
The council is set to take up the measure Thursday.