Atlanta, Ga. – As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I've been keeping a close eye on the news coming out of the City of Atlanta. I'm sure you all have noticed that the Atlanta Police Department has been cracking down on illegal street racing.
Well, this past weekend, APD officers arrested over forty people and issued over 100 citations in connection to a racing event held in downtown. Chief Erika Shields released the following statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
“We pledged to deal with these speeders and reckless drivers who have shown a complete disregard for the safety of others with these dangerous antics. This weekend, with the help of our law enforcement partners, we made inroads. We will continue to impound, arrest and seek costly fines for those individuals who choose Atlanta for this senseless behavior.”
The street races have brought a great deal of attention via social media and news outlets. And in today's post, I hope to bring some clarity as to what exactly constitutes the offense of racing in the state of Georgia.
Racing in Georgia
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-186 of the Georgia Code defines the offense of racing in Georgia as:
Georgia law prohibits any vehicle on a highway of this state from participating in any race, speed competition or contest, drag race or acceleration contest, test of physical endurance, exhibition of speed or acceleration, or for the purpose of making a speed record.
Racing is legally defined as the use of one or more vehicles in an attempt to out-gain, outdistance, or prevent another vehicle from passing, to arrive at a given destination ahead of another vehicle or vehicles, or to test the physical stamina or endurance of drivers over long-distance driving routes.
Furthermore, drag racing is legally defined as the operation of two or more vehicles from a point side by side at accelerated speeds in a competitive attempt to outdistance each other or the operation of one or more vehicles over a common selected course from the same point to the same point for the purpose of comparing the relative speeds or power of acceleration of such vehicle or vehicles within a certain distance or time limit.
If convicted of racing, the penalties can include any punishments allowed under the misdemeanor sentencing statute. These punishments range from fines of $1000 plus court costs, license suspension, community service, jail time, probation to more. A racing conviction can also lead to the suspension of your Georgia Driver's License.
If you have been arrested for a traffic violation such as racing or DUI in Georgia, contact our offices now. We can help you with your case immediately.