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What you need to know about street racing law in Colorado

Sports car enthusiasts in the Denver area may be aware of the thriving street racing culture here. Law enforcement across the state is working to arrest people for allegedly participating in illegal street races, so it’s something for fans to be aware of.

These races usually start as late-night meet-ups, where owners show off their cars and socialize. Later on, some of the car owners arrange races on emptied-out highways like Interstate 25.

Police anti-racing strategies

An article from KMGH-TV earlier this year details the methods Colorado police are using to catch racers. They have formed a working group to develop new strategies and coordinate across different counties in the Denver metro. In addition, 911 dispatchers have been trained to ask callers certain questions in order to discern the difference between aggressive driving and street racing.

However, deputies admit that they struggle to arrest racers. By its very nature, street racing is tough to stop because of how fast the participants are going -- up to 160 mph, one Douglas County deputy claimed. If officers can’t pull over a driver, they obviously can’t charge them with street racing.

Colorado law

Depending on the circumstances, street racing is a class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense under Colorado law, which refers to them as “speed contests.” A “speed exhibition,” which the law defines as making your tires squeal or smoke or swerving through traffic, is a class 2 misdemeanor offense.

A conviction for a class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense carries a minimum of 10 days in jail, a $300 fine or both, but you could face up to a year behind bars and/or a $1,000 fine. A class 2 violation is less serious, but still has a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a $300 fine.

Clearly, a charge for street racing is serious. But you have the right to a defense attorney’s representation; with a lawyer’s help, you may be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed.

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