UPDATE: NEW GEORGIA LAWS ENACT ENHANCED PENALTIES FOR STREET RACING AND RELATED OFFENSES
UPDATE: Gwinnett Police continue to target illegal street racing to improve safety on the roads. Over the weekend an enforcement detail was conducted with different units within the police department collaborating together.
Officers made eight arrests, securing three felony and five misdemeanor warrants. They issued over 45 citations and impounded seven vehicles.
Street racing is illegal, dangerous and taken very seriously. It can lead to injury, property damage, loss of driving privileges and jail time. We will continue to combat this issue through regular enforcement details.
ORIGINAL: (Lawrenceville, GA., August 19, 2021) – Street racing and reckless driving pose a safety risk to Gwinnett citizens and commuters traveling though the county. Gwinnett Police has been proactively addressing illegal street racing and reckless driving conducted on roadways and in parking lots for the past several months. Recently the state legislature passed several new laws to address illegal street racing.
Georgia House Bill 534 went into effect May 3, 2021. Under the new law titled Reckless Stunt Driving (40-6-390.1), anyone convicted of reckless stunt driving will be subjected to license suspension, a fine of not less than $300, and a period of imprisonment of no less than 10 days and up to six months. Reckless stunt driving is defined as any person who operates a vehicle while drag racing or laying drags in reckless disregard for the safety of persons on a highway or on private property without property owner consent. A second conviction within a five-year period will lead to increased fines and longer required jail time. A third conviction in a five-year period will see the offender ruled as a Habitual Violator and lead to further enhanced penalties. If declared a Habitual Violator, the State of Georgia can confiscate the vehicle being driven at the time of the offense.
A new law also went into effect for individuals promoting racing events. Georgia Code 16-11-43.1 says, “Any 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.”