If you have been reading about traffic violations in the State of Michigan, then you have probably read about drag racing penalties here and there.
In the State of Michigan, drag racing may be a misdemeanor traffic violation that is punishable by jail time and fines.
In this article, let us begin our discussion on drag racing in Michigan and the things that you should know about in terms of the laws applicable.
What is Drag Racing?
By definition, “‘Drag racing’ means the operation of 2 or more vehicles from a point side by side at accelerating speeds in a competitive attempt to out-distance each other over a common selected course or where timing is involved or where timing devices are used in competitive accelerations of speeds by participating vehicles. Persons rendering assistance in any manner to such competitive use of vehicles shall be equally charged as participants. The operation of 2 or more vehicles either at speeds in excess of prima facie lawfully established speeds or rapidly accelerating from a common starting point to a speed in excess of such prima facie lawful speed is prima facie evidence of drag racing and is unlawful.” This is embodied in MCL 257.626a.
MCL 257.626a also states the following: “It shall be unlawful for any person to operate any vehicle upon any highway, or any other place open to the general public, including any area designated for the parking of motor vehicles, within this state, in a speed or acceleration contest or for the purpose of making a speed record, whether from a standing start or otherwise over a measured or unmeasured distance, or in a drag race as herein defined.”
Penalties for Drag Racing
Depending on the case, a driver may face serious penalties for drag racing. This would include a penalty of up to 90 days imprisonment, a fine of up to $100, and suspension of his license for up to 1 year.
When Drag Racing Becomes Reckless Driving
A drag racing charge may be a reckless driving charge if the individual is found to have driven in a manner that shows wanton disregard for the safety of others. If the driver was involved in an auto accident, then the case of drag racing turns from misdemeanor drag racing to reckless imprudence.
Should there be an actual excess in the speed limit?
No, the law does not require that the two vehicles be in excess of the speed limit in order for the drag racing to be considered punishable. The fact is that if the two vehicles leave a stoplight and accelerate up to a speed limit that is competitive, there is already a charge of drag racing in Michigan.
Who becomes liable in drag racing?
Both parties who are involved in drag racing are considered guilty of and liable for drag racing.
Individuals who also decide to do acts that are equivalent to “rendering assistance in any manner to such competitive use of vehicles shall be equally charged as participants” are considered liable in drag racing.
There are a lot of questions that you may have about drag racing in Michigan. More questions will be answered in the succeeding articles.
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