With summer comes a lot of extra free time for teens and young adults. Spurred on my movie franchises like Fast and Furious (and forgetting that they use stunt doubles and special effects), many take to street racing here in Florida and across the country.
This can be dangerous and too often deadly not just for those in the racing vehicles but for other motorists and innocent bystanders. This year has already seen casualties of those who happened to be in the path of racing cars.
On the other side of the country in the Los Angeles area, actor/comedian Tony Baker and his family are dealing with the death of his son. The 21-year-old was killed, along with two of his friends, when their car was struck by two other vehicles that police say were racing. One police officer said, “In my 19-year-career, I haven’t seen anything like this, personally….Not to this magnitude and this level of debris over a two-city block span.”
Florida has been cracking down on street racing
Street racing, sometimes known as drag racing, is illegal. Those convicted of it in Florida can end up with far more serious consequences than a speeding ticket – even if no one was injured.
Florida’s laws have become stricter in recent years. For example, a police officer doesn’t actually have to witness the act. They can rely on eyewitness statements to arrest suspects.
Penalties for street racing
In Florida, street racing is a first-degree misdemeanor. Someone who is convicted for the first time gets a mandatory driver’s license suspension of one year. They can also be assessed a fine of $500 to $1,000 and have their vehicle impounded for 30 days.
A second or subsequent conviction within five years will get you longer license suspensions and impoundments and greater fines depending on how many convictions you’ve had. You could end up having your vehicle taken away completely. These don’t include the potential penalties if someone is injured or killed.
Even a first conviction for street racing can have a serious impact on your life, your education and your job. It can also send your insurance costs skyrocketing. If you or a loved one is facing charges for street racing, it’s essential to understand the potential penalties and to take the necessary steps to protect your rights and present your case. It’s always wise to seek legal guidance.