The Georgia law against reckless stunt driving, which went into effect in May, has led to the arrest of a man who allegedly organized a May 30 street racing event in Ellenwood.
Until recently, driving at excessive speeds could only get you a traffic ticket, unless you caused an accident or injured someone. Even if your driving was so reckless as to qualify for criminal charges, no one except the lightning-fast driver would get in trouble. A recently enacted law in Georgia has defined a newly recognized crime, named “reckless stunt driving,” which is when some drives at high speeds or otherwise performs dangerous stunts with a motor vehicle for the entertainment of spectators. The law has only been on the books for about two months, but already, police are making arrests for reckless stunt driving. If you are facing criminal charges for participating in a reckless stunt driving event, contact an Atlanta criminal defense lawyer.
About House Bill 534, Georgia’s Reckless Stunt Driving Law
House Bill 534, which Gov. Kemp signed into law on May 3, 2021, criminalized reckless stunt driving; included in the definition of this crime are street racing and performing driving stunts on private property before an audience without the property owner’s permission. (Therefore, officially scheduled and organized monster truck rallies at fairgrounds do not count as reckless stunt driving.) A person’s first three reckless stunt driving offenses are misdemeanors, but the fourth and beyond are felonies. Repeat offenses can be punished by seizure of the stunt-driving vehicle, as well as fines, probation, or jail time. Even if you are not the one driving, you can get criminal charges for organizing a stunt driving event or attending as a spectator.
Illegal Street Racing Takes Off During Pandemic
With the streets empty during the pandemic, Atlanta and other cities across the nation saw a huge increase in illegal street races. While Atlanta police only received about 30 calls in February of 2020 regarding illegal street racing activity, by the end of the year, that number had risen to more than 560 in a single month. With an increase in cars driving at such dangerous speed, human casualties related to street racing also increased.
Contact Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyers About Reckless Stunt Driving Charges
An Atlanta criminal defense lawyer can help you if police are unfairly targeting you for having a little harmless fun, such as by watching fast cars do their stuff. Contact the defense lawyers at Ghanayem & Rayasam in Atlanta, Georgia about reckless stunt driving cases.