WHAT IS RECKLESS STUNT DRIVING?
This new law is called "Reckless Stunt Driving." It will crack
down pretty harshly on street racers in Georgia.
Here's what you need to know about Georgia's new statute on reckless
stunt driving: § 40-6-390.1 - This will be considered a misdemeanor traffic offense and much more than
just a typical traffic ticket or traffic violation.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR STREET RACING?
- You will have a suspended license under Georgia law.
- The fine is $300 to $750.
- Jail time ranges from a minimum of 10 days to a maximum of 180 days.
Second and third convictions for this offense will lead to increased fines,
jail time, and the government's ability to seize the vehicle and your
For those people who promote this event, the government will try and punish
you too! The new statute, 16-11-43.1, says "[a]ny person who knowingly
promotes or organizes an exhibition of illegal drag racing, in violation
of Code Section 40-6-186, or of laying drags, in violation of Code Section
40-6-251, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature."
I presume there will be court cases where someone promotes an event simply
by sharing a Facebook or Instagram post with their friends and followers.
Here is the actual language of the newly drafted O.C.G.A. 40-6-390.1:
"Any person who operates any vehicle while drag racing, in violation
of Code Section 40-6-186, or laying drags, in violation of Code Section
40-6-251, in reckless disregard for the safety of persons on a highway
or upon private property without express authorization from the owner
of such property commits the offense of reckless stunt driving."
From a practical standpoint, this new law will bring those people racing
at accelerated speeds, or conducting an acceleration contest, into the
jails in a relatively large number. Currently, a person may not actually
get arrested on a racing ticket or warrant, but instead given a traffic
ticket with a notice to appear in court. But, this new statute will likely
cause the police officer to arrest the driver and bring them to jail immediately.
Real Case Result
In October of 2021, I represented a driver in Gwinnett County Recorders'
Court who not only received a traffic ticket for Aggressive Driving and
Improper exhaust but who was actually arrested for a racing charge and
accused of driving a certain distance while in a speed competition. The
charges were bogus, and he hired my defense firm to seek an acquittal.
The Gwinnett County Police Department officer said he paced my client and
another driver for some time and watched each of them travel side by side
(under the speed limit). When my client and the other driver stopped at
the red traffic light, they revved their engines. Once the light turned
green, they sped off and were arrested.
My client told the police officer he was not racing. Once he hired my criminal
defense law office, we obtained the body camera footage. It showed our
client did not participate in the drag race. We utilized the best defense
there is in criminal law--He simply didn't commit the crime!
The prosecutor made us a plea offer directly before trial, which was to
plead guilty to a "reduced" charge of reckless driving, complete
some probation, pay a speeding ticket fine, and avoid a driver's license
suspension. And, they kept reminding me that a conviction to the actual
charge of racing after trial will lead to a driver's license suspension,
mandatory jail time, and fines, among other consequences. I found this
to be not in my client's best interests. So, we decided to go to trial.
And we won! Not guilty on all counts!
If you are charged in Georgia for any
contact Richman Law Firm attorneys immediately. We will give you the best defense possible and go over and
beyond to get your case dismissed.