CLEARWATER, FL - May 12, 2020 - According to an online news report published on Fox Television Stations, two men were arrested for street-racing on the Courtney Campbell Causeway in Clearwater, Florida. The troopers stated that the two claimed they were speeding because they "were hungry" due to fasting all day. The suspects allegedly told the trooper that they were in a hurry to get to a relative's house for dinner.
A state trooper for the Florida Highway Patrol observed two sports cars racing across the Courtney Campbell Causeway on Saturday night. The Florida Highway Patrol trooper said that the speeds reached as high as 130 MPH. At approximately 7 p.m., the Florida Highway Patrol trooper witnessed a red Mustang GT and a white Audi RS5 heading westbound on the Courtney Campbell Causeway at a very high rate of speed. The Florida Highway Patrol trooper clocked the Audi RS5 at 130 mph as the Audi was slightly pulling ahead of the Mustang GT, according to an arrest report.
The Florida Highway Patrol trooper stated in the arrest affidavit that the Audi RS5 and the Mustang GT were competing in a street race. The trooper also stated that the two vehicles were "demonstrating the power and acceleration of their respective vehicles in an attempt to outgain the other." The Florida Highway Patrol trooper said the vehicles were moving at approximately 95 mph when the suspects passed the Florida Highway Patrol cruiser. The Florida Highway Patrol trooper took pursuit and stopped both vehicles.
The driver of the Mustang GT is a 23-year-old man from Clearwater, Florida. The Audi's driver is a 22-year-old man from Lakeland, Florida. One of the suspects asked the trooper, after the arrest, if they could bail out of jail. The trooper stated that the offense is a misdemeanor charge, and the two would be able to bail out of jail.
Each driver had a previous traffic citation on their driver's record. The two men were arrested and charged with street racing.
Florida Statute 316.191 Street Racing
According to Florida Statute 316.191, street racing is an illegal activity, whereas an individual engages in a speed contest on a public roadway, highway, or parking lot. Florida state law also defines street racing as tests of physical endurance, acceleration contests, drag races, and exhibitions of speed. The law also applies cars, motorcycles, trucks, vans, and off-road vehicles.
The Penalties for Street Racing in Florida
Street racing is a misdemeanor in the first-degree. If convicted for a first-time street racing offense, the defendant could receive up to 1-year driver's license revocation, up to 1 year in jail, and up to $1,000 in fines. A conviction for a second street racing offense within five years, the defendant could receive as punishments up to $3,000 in fines, up to 1-year in jail, and up to a 2-years driver's license revocation. A third and subsequent conviction of street racing in the State of Florida within five years of a previous street racing offense, if convicted, could result in up to $5,000 in fines, up to 1 year in jail, and up to 4 years driver's license revocation.
If convicted of street racing, the motor vehicle used in the crime may be impounded for up to 30 days. If found guilty of a second or subsequent street racing offense within five years, the motor vehicle may be seized and forfeited.