Speed Contests – C.R.S. 42-4-1105

It should not be a surprise to anyone that law enforcement is actively looking to punish those individuals who are speeding on the roadways in our communities. In fact, many people have received a speeding ticket or know someone who has. Perhaps that speeding ticket was for driving 5 – 9 mph over the limit or maybe even 10 – 19 mph over the speed limit.

Occasionally, when someone is speeding in their vehicle, they are speeding because they are racing someone else who is also in a vehicle. Sometimes, all the person has done is made some kind of indication that they want to race a different driver. In those situations, that person might be charged with Speed Contest or Speed Exhibition. These are both serious offenses that can be punished by time in jail. Further, a conviction for either of these offenses often leads to a Point Suspension hearing at the DMV – that means that your driving privileges may be suspended for some amount of time.

First, it is important to distinguish between “speed contest” and “speed exhibition.”

“Speed contests” means the operation of one or more motor vehicles to conduct a race or a time trial, including but not limited to rapid acceleration, exceeding reasonable and prudent speeds for highways and existing traffic conditions, vying for position, or performing one or more lane changes in an attempt to gain an advantage over one or more of the other race participants.

On the other hand, “speed exhibition” means the operation of a motor vehicle to present a display of speed or power. It includes, but is not limited to, squealing the tires of a motor vehicle while it is stationary or in motion, rapid acceleration, rapid swerving or weaving in and out of traffic, producing smoke from tire slippage, or leaving visible tire acceleration marks on the surface of the highway or ground.

Oftentimes, when someone is facing this charge, it isn’t because they were racing someone but rather because they were running late, driving fast, and the officer thought that they may be racing.

It is also important to realize that the provisions of this law do not apply to those involved in an “organized competition” on a “designated and duly authorized racetrack” or course.

When looking at one of these charges, it is imperative that you are fully informed of the way in which law enforcement can work against you. For example, in Denver, the City and County of Denver may impound your vehicle as a nuisance; between the fines for the offense, the towing costs, and the impound fee, such an offense can cost you hundreds.

Further, a second conviction for these offenses may allow law enforcement to place an immobilization device on the vehicle for up to fourteen days.

The attorneys and staff at the Law Office of Jacob E. Martinez understand how important it can be for someone to preserve their driving privileges – often we need those privileges in order to go to commute to work/school or pick up and drop off the kids.  Contact an experienced Denver traffic attorney at the Law Office of Jacob E. Martinez for a free consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys.