All across the country, law enforcement has seen a significant increase in speeding since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nationwide, the number of traffic deaths from speeding and reckless driving rose 7.2% in 2020, the largest number in a decade.
Texas has seen a big increase in illegal street racing. In March 2021, more than 100 arrests were made in just one weekend in Harris County. But Houston isn’t the only city with street racers. In Fort Worth, 67 people were arrested for street racing in August of 2021. It’s become such a concern that the state legislature recently passed the Street Racing Bill (HB 2315)
Speeding or Racing?
In Texas, you can’t be arrested for speeding, but you can be arrested for racing on a highway and for reckless driving. Texas Transportation Code 545.420 defines the offense of racing on a highway, which includes drag racing and “testing the endurance of the driver” in long distance races.
A drag race is two or more vehicles positioned side-by-side and accelerating to try to outdistance one another, or prevent another vehicle from passing, or to arrive ahead of another vehicle.
Punishments for the Offense of Street Racing
Racing on a highway can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor with jail time and costly fines. It can also be charged as a felony, with fines and imprisonment. And as of September 1, 2021, law enforcement can seize “contraband” relating to crime of racing on a highway. That means the police can confiscate cars – and anything in those cars.
If you’ve been arrested and charged with racing on a highway, the consequences are too severe to give up without a fight. Don’t enter a plea until you’ve spoken with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Call Lee & Wood: 817-678-6771 or contact us online.