MANKATO — Blue Earth County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a countywide juvenile curfew, set to take effect immediately. 

Blue Earth County Attorney Pat McDermott proposed the curfew in an effort to keep youths safe at night while also standardizing rules, which varied by municipality. 

The curfew establishes two sets of rules. Juveniles ages 12 and younger are not allowed in public places or establishments between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Juveniles 13 to 17 need to stay out of the same defined places between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

There are several exceptions to the curfew and police are expected to continue to use discretion in deciding to issue a citation.

Examples of exceptions include a juvenile accompanied by an adult, a juvenile who is returning from a job, school or religious activity, or someone responding to an emergency situation.

Commissioners who weighed in on the ordinance last week said they supported it. One person spoke during public comment Tuesday. Brad Potter, Eagle Lake city administrator, spoke in support of the ordinance.

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