Although there are several options for legal drag racing, most people who participate in a drag race do so illegally. For the uninitiated, a drag race is typically set up on a short stretch of road in an area that does not receive a lot of traffic. Illegal drag races usually happen late in the day, and they include two drivers who are attempting to cross the finish line first. These races are illegal on surface streets, with the exception of Worcester, Massachusetts’ Main Street during the New England Summer Nationals.
Why do People Participate in Illegal Drag Races?
The majority of people who participate in drag races do so because they are looking for an adrenaline rush. Not only does the race itself get both the drivers and the spectators excited, but the idea of doing something illegal is also a rush for some people. It is difficult for the police to bust a drag race, though, because they are not planned far in advance, and they can often be setup, completed and dismantled in less than 15 minutes. Therefore, unless a police officer happens to drive down the deserted stretch of road where the drag race is occurring, they usually will not find out about the race until it is too late.
Consequences of Drag Racing
Even though it is commonly believed that most drag racing happens without the police finding out, there are still several dangerous aspects to participating in this illegal activity. Although it is difficult for anyone to compile the exact statistics, it is believed that approximately 135 people die in the U.S. each year as a result of a drag race and approximately 19 percent of the drivers are injured. Although the drivers are at the highest risk, there have definitely been a lot of spectator deaths as well, so it is important to consider your safety before you agree to watch a drag race.
From a legal standpoint, it is much worse to get caught speeding in a drag race than to simply be speeding down the expressway. In fact, the state of California made drag racing a felony in 2006. Although each state has its own laws about drag races, they are illegal everywhere in the U.S., and you will deal with a harsh penalty if you get caught. Most states enforce a $1,000 fine for first time offenders, and if you get caught more than once, you will probably go to jail for six months. Any lawyer alike will tell you that killing someone while drag racing typically leads to a prison sentence of approximately 10 years, and you could be sued by the person’s surviving family members. It is also common for people who are caught drag racing to have their license suspended for up to one year.
If you are arrested for drag racing, you will need to contact a lawyer who has experience with cases involving illegal street races. Although some states have automatic minimum sentences that they will attempt to enforce, you still have the right to defend yourself in court. Even if the police have incontrovertible evidence that you were behind the wheel of a vehicle during the race, your lawyer can still try to get you a reduced sentence. If you are a first time offender, it is highly likely that your attorney can get you a good deal, especially if you admit guilt. For multiple time offenders, your attorney will work on getting your prison sentenced either commuted or reduced. Either way, your best chance of getting a favorable outcome is to utilize an experienced lawyer.
Saam Banai is a freelance writer and editor, and he longs for the day he can reunite with his Impreza. Drag racing is a serious offense in the majority of states, so if you find yourself in trouble with the law, it will be impreative that you contact a lawyer that specializes in those matters. Powers McCartan PLLC has the Charlotte criminal lawyer that will fight for you in your time of need, keeping you out of jail and your license in your pocket.
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