Guam Police Department to enforce curfew law for teens

OUTREACH: Guam Police Department Officer II Susie Santos, center, speaks to Benavente Middle School students during the Carnival with a Cop event held on the school's Dededo campus in December 2019. The Scoop file photo

With classes canceled for most schools following the news of Guam’s first COVID-19 cases, the Guam Police Department is reaching out to the community, saying it would be enforcing Guam’s curfew law. 

The laws have been in place, but GPD is reminding the public of the curfew in conjunction with the governor's recent emergency declaration due to COVID-19 cases on Guam and advice for people to practice social distancing.

According to the law, residents can be charged a $500 fine if their children break curfew hours.

"All parents or legal guardians are still responsible for all the actions of their minor kids," said. Sgt. Paul Tapao, GPD spokesman.

A minor is defined as anyone under the age of 17.

Curfew hours are:

• 10 p.m.-6 a.m. for the evenings of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday; and

• 12:01 a.m. - 6 a.m., on the early morning hours of Saturday or Sunday.

Tapao said the law states a minor commits an offense if he or she remains in any public place or on the premises of any establishment on Guam during the curfew hours.

He noted that the law states the "parent or guardian of a minor commits an offense if he or she knowingly permits or, by insufficient control allows, the minor to remain in any public place or on the premises of any establishment on Guam during curfew hours."

Additionally, the owner, operator, or any employee of an establishment commits an offense if he or she knowingly allows a minor to remain upon the premises of the establishment during curfew hours, the law states.

The law also notes the penalty: A person who violates a provision of this chapter is guilty of a separate offense for each day or part of a day during which the violation is committed, continued or permitted. Each offense, upon conviction, is punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.

Social distancing

The governor’s Executive Order 2020-04 prohibits large gatherings of 50 or more people in a single room or single space at the same time for social, spiritual and recreational activities, including, but not limited to, community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based, or sporting events, parades, concerts, festivals, fiestas, conventions, fundraisers, and similar activities throughout Guam.

The executive order also limits the occupancy of any place of business or public accommodation. Even if there are fewer than 50 people, there can be no more than 50% of the overall seating capacity occupied.

“This directive does not apply to retail establishments providing basic food and necessities such as grocery and convenience stores, hospitals, pharmacies, or other medical offices and facilities,” the Joint Information Center stated.

New price gouging law

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero signed Bill 208-35 into Public Law 35-74 to prevent price gouging during a state of emergency. Guam public law 35-74 freezes the price of goods or services deemed to be in short supply, or in danger of becoming short in supply as a result of a catastrophic event that prompts an emergency declaration, according to the press release.

The executive order will place a freeze on price markups a day before a disaster and for no more than 30 days.

The Office of the Attorney General recommends consumers use email when communicating their price gouging concerns and other matters related to the OAG office due to the current operation status. Information regarding price gouging should be directed to Consumer Protection Division. Email consumerprotection@oagguam.org.

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