DENVER (KDVR) — Denver is not considering any sort of boundary on its emergency curfew, according to a city spokesperson.
That curfew, extended by Mayor Michael Hancock over the weekend, requires people in the entire city and county to be home between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
A few exceptions of the curfew include: law enforcement, media, people traveling to/from work, people traveling to/from DIA, medical professionals, homeless persons and anyone fleeing a dangerous situation.
Violators can face fines and even jail time.
Bars and restaurants across the city say the curfew has had a major impact on business, which is already struggling due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“We just thought finally we’re open,” says Mark Berzins. “And even at half capacity, our patio should be full. Friday, it was like a bolt of lightning when the protest started.”
Berzins owns a number of bars and restaurants in Denver, including Spot Bar and Grill on Pennsylvania Street.
He also owns Renegado Tacos and Margaritas on Tower Road, nearly 20 miles from where the protests have occurred.
“I’m a biker, and I don’t think I would try to bike out there,” he jokes. “That’s how far it is. The fact that it’s subject to the same rules, just really hurt.”
Some cities, like Dallas, have used curfew radius models, where only certain portions of the city fall under the curfew guidelines.
A spokesperson for Denver’s Joint Information Center said:
“Since we cannot predict where non-peaceful protests might occur, the emergency curfew is intended to help protect everyone in our city from night-time vandalism and looting.”
Berzins hopes it’s something the city will at least consider if the emergency curfew is extended.
Currently, it’s set to expire at 5 a.m. Friday.
“I hope moving forward, if we have to do this again, we look at something like that,” he says. “I hate to say it, but if it persists, it’s really going to jeopardize a lot of businesses that are already heavily stressed with finances.”