We know the chance we take when we line up to the car next to us. A new bill allows Police to arrest street racers without witnessing a crime in Florida. Unless an accident happens Police officers usually have to witness a race to make any arrest. The bill also gives the police the right to make an arrest with requesting a warrant.
A “misdemeanor exception,” was made so that prosecutors and police can enforce the misdemeanor crime as if it were a felony. Police are happy with the bill because they say they their hands are usually tied during these crimes. Some police departments have “No chase” policies. Without witnessing a race they were unable to make any arrest. With video and information from people on the street they can now make arrest after they have collected evidence that a person or vehicle was involved in an illegal street race.
“This misdemeanor exception will allow law enforcement to work up a case against street racers instead of what the current situation is where they have to actually witness the crime. It is difficult to witness street racing and then make arrest because most law enforcement agencies have ‘no chase’ policies for safety.”
It was noted that Orlando has seen an increase in street racing recently. The local police departments have even started special task forces to catch the racers in the act. Street racing in Florida is considered a first degreee misdemeanor with up to 1 year in jail and a 1 year license suspension.
In addition the court fine can be from $500 to $1000 depending on if the person is a first time offender. For a second time offender the sentence is up to 2 year suspension and a $1000 to $3000 fine. Third time offenders can get a 4 year suspension and a $2000 to $5000 dollar fine. Race organizers and passengers of the vehicle can get hit the the same charges.
This won’t deter some racers from continuing to race, so be careful out there. Or better yet find a local track and avoid jail time.