Street Racing Laws in Texas

Racing has been one of the most exciting forms of entertainment and competition. There’s formula racing, sports car racing, and other types of professional racing.

Now I know most people think street racing is cool and entertaining since the idea of having fast fancy cars racing against each other has been popularized by the media. However, there is not much emphasis on the risks and how something this dangerous can turn into a serious crime.

Texas Transportation Code, Section 545.420 – Racing on Highway
A person may not participate in any manner in:

(1) a race;
(2) a vehicle speed competition or contest;
(3) a drag race or acceleration contest;
(4) a test of physical endurance of the operator of a vehicle; or
(5) in connection with a drag race, an exhibition of vehicle speed or acceleration or to make a vehicle speed record.
(1) “Drag race” means the operation of:
(A) two or more vehicles from a point side by side at accelerating speeds in a competitive attempt to outdistance each other; or
(B) one or more vehicles over a common selected course, from the same place to the same place, for the purpose of comparing the relative speeds or power of acceleration of the vehicle or vehicles in a specified distance or time.
(2) “Race” means the use of one or more vehicles in an attempt to:
(A) outgain or outdistance another vehicle or prevent another vehicle from passing;
(B) arrive at a given destination ahead of another vehicle or vehicles; or
(C) test the physical stamina or endurance of an operator over a long-distance driving route.


Before, street racing in Texas was only considered a simple traffic violation. But in 2003, the law implemented a stricter penalty depending on the cause of the accident.

The first offense of racing on a highway is: a Class B misdemeanor

A second offense of racing is: a Class A misdemeanor

A third conviction for racing is: a state jail felony

For Drivers
Your participation in a street race in Texas is now considered a Class B misdemeanor.
– Racers can face jail time of up to 180 days with a fine of up to $2,000, or both.
– Street racers can have their driver’s license suspended for up to a year and they must complete 10 hours of community service.

For Repeat offenders
For repeat offenders, the punishment is much higher and can also make its way to becoming to a second-degree felony.
– Suspension of the driver’s license.
– 2 to 20 years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
If found guilty after receiving two-second felonies for illegally racing, the next offense can lead to life in prison.

For Drunk street racers In Texas, You will automatically have your license suspended for a year and will merit you a class B misdemeanor with a $1,000 fine for drinking and driving. But is a street racer is caught illegally racing while drunk or if open containers of alcohol are found within the racing vehicle, regardless of the blood alcohol level of the driver, the punishment can increase from a class B misdemeanor to a second-degree felony.

Passengers are not an exemption. They will also receive the following punishments:

-class B misdemeanor that includes a $2,000 fine
-up to six months in jail
– or both.

Even if you were only caught watching or attending these events, you can also receive:

-a fine up to $500
– have the vehicle towed
if someone gets accidentally killed during these illegal racing events, spectators can also face manslaughter charges and additional felony penalties.

What happens to the car?

If the illegal street race resulted to Personal Injury Trial Law or damages in property, a peace officer will take the vehicle to the nearest licensed vehicle storage facility unless it is seized as evidence.

Other Penalties

There are many other charges with designated penalties that a street racer may be liable for such as, damaged property, caused injuries, or evading a police officer for refusing to stop. You will be paying thousands of dollars for fines, your license can either be suspended or revoked or spend some time in jail.

If any person whether he or she was involved in the race or just merely a pedestrian walking in the street who suffered bodily injury because of the offense of racing the defendant can be charged with a third-degree felony.

If a person gets killed or suffers severe bodily injury, you may face a second-degree felony with a penalty range of 2 to 20 years.

Such misdemeanors and felonies will affect your chances of future employment because it will go on your permanent record.

Prosecutors provide serious consequences for street racing because it puts society at high risk and grave danger making cases like these very hard to win.

If you were caught in a street racing event, make sure to hire an experienced criminal attorney that will help you in giving you the best possible deals. You may consider doing a plea bargain for a reckless driving charge which has lighter punishments and penalties than those for illegal street racing or worse, you may be charged with a second-degree felony if a person is killed or suffers serious bodily injuries from the street race.

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