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A curfew sweep last week resulted in the arrest of 14 minors in the East County communities of Santee, Lakeside, and unincorporated El Cajon, Sheriff’s deputies reported over the weekend.

Curfew laws differ considerably based on locale – in Santee they ban a minor from being in public between 10 p.m. and sunrise from September to May, but the curfew doesn’t take effect until 11 p.m. in June, July, and August. In unincorporated parts of the county, the ban on minors in public runs from 10 p.m to 5 a.m. year-round, though within San Diego city limits it’s in effect until 6 a.m.

On the night of March 28 and into the early morning hours of March 29, deputies patrolled neighborhoods in search of juveniles away from home in violation of curfew, as well as “social host” violations in which alcohol is supplied to minors, frequently at house parties. None of these violations were found, though one of the 14 arrested was found to be in possession of marijuana.

All of the youth arrested were transported to the Santee Sheriff’s Station, where they phoned parents for a ride home. Eleven will be offered an opportunity to participate in a San Diego Youth Services program, while three will be referred to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ office for possible prosecution.

A release from the Sheriff’s Department states that the sweep, “with spring break underway,” is the first in an ongoing operation targeting minors in public and underage drinking around the county through prom season. Though elementary and middle schools in the region are indeed in the middle of their spring breaks, the Grossmont Union High School District, which oversees all of the area high schools, does not break until April 14.

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