two cars drive across the street and follow each other

While Fast and Furious movie franchise fans might want to try to drive like the actors in the movies, they need to remember that street racing is illegal in Florida. There are numerous risks and dangers of street racing one could face.

For instance, two teens street racing in Tampa killed a toddler, which prompted a change to Florida driving laws. There have also been crashes on toll roads and interstates where drivers have lost control of their vehicles, sometimes flipping them end-over-end or crashing into other motorists.

This past summer, the state of Florida passed new laws to help address the problem and the dangers of illegal street racing in the state. In the past, law enforcement officers would need to witness street racing as it occurred. Under the new law, officers can arrest those suspected of street racing when they have probable cause without a warrant. They are also allowed to rely on statements from witnesses.1

What Are the Penalties for Street Racing in Florida?

Florida categorizes street racing as a first-degree criminal misdemeanor offense. If one is charged and convicted, they could face penalties for street racing in Florida that include:

  • A mandatory one-year license suspension.
  • A 30-day impound of the vehicle.
  • A fine for a first-time offense between $500 and $1,000.

For subsequent offenses within five years of the first offense, the penalties become harsher and include:

  • A fine between $1,000 and $3,000 for a second offense.
  • A mandatory two-year license suspension for a second offense.
  • A fine between $2,000 and $5,000 for a third offense.
  • A mandatory three-year license suspension for a third offense.

For repeat offenders, besides the mandatory 30-day vehicle impound, one could risk losing their vehicle and having it seized by the state. Furthermore, one could face varying periods of jail time as part of their sentencing for street racing.

Additionally, one will have the crime recorded on their criminal record. This can make it difficult to get a job. Plus, it will drastically increase auto insurance rates and make it difficult to get car insurance.

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The state will also require someone convicted of street racing to complete a Florida Basic Driver Improvement Course and/or a Florida Advanced Driver Improvement Course. Normally, if this is the first offense, the basic course is required. For subsequent offenses, the advanced course is required, although the court could mandate the driver to complete both courses even for a first offense.

What Is the Florida Basic Driver Improvement Course?

The basic course is a 4-hour driver improvement course online. Florida courts may also refer to this course as “online traffic school.” The course is taken for a variety of reasons like ticket forgiveness or to keep points off a driver’s license. For people with spotless driving records, their insurance company may give them a discount of up to 10% for completing the online course.

What Is the Florida Advanced Driver Improvement Course?

The Florida 12-hour Advanced Driver Improvement course is required for drivers who have had multiple driving offenses and criminal traffic convictions on their records within a short period of time. The court can require a person to complete the Florida ADI course online for any of the following:

  • License reinstatement after it was suspended or revoked.
  • Satisfying the state’s requirement for HTO (Habitual Traffic Offender).
  • Obtaining a hardship driver’s license.
  • Meeting the requirements of a court order.
  • Fulfilling the state’s requirements for a “3 crashes in 3 years.”
  • Fulfilling the state’s ADI requirement for an out-of-state ticket.

It is best to avoid street racing in Florida. However, if you were convicted of this crime or you are looking to improve your driving habits, points forgiveness, or an insurance discount, please feel free to sign up online at Ticket School today for our Florida online traffic school courses! You may also call us at 1-800-558-9887 if you have further questions or need help registering.

Source:

https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/local/state/2019/06/29/texting-and-driving-ban-drag-racing-among-new-florida-laws-to-hit-the-books-monday/1582759001/