On the evening of February 8, Chico Mayor Scott Gruendl was travelling northbound on Highway 99 when a CHP vehicle ticketed him for driving in excess of 100 mph. Mayor Gruendl said he was preoccupied by the recent death of his sister, and followed a car that passed him. When the CHP SUV made a U-turn, Mayor Gruendl said he immediately pulled over. A CHP spokesperson defended the super-speeder law, stating that if the car crashed at that speed the injuries would likely be fatal.
Mayor Gruendl, who accepted full responsibility for his behavior, is due in court this spring.
A super-speeder ticket is a serious charge. According to VC Section 22348, the fine for a first offense is $500 (the penalty assessments add another $680 to that amount). There's a $750 fine plus PAs for a second offense, and a $1,000 fine plus PAs for any subsequent violation within five years. Not only that, your drivers' license may be suspended for a minimum of 30 days. On top of everything else, a super-speeder ticket costs you two points on your license.
Several defenses can be raised. In Mayor Grundel's case, the other car could have been the one captured by radar, the officers calibration and training records would need to be in order and properly entered into evidence, the officer could forget to testify as to driving a marked CHP unit, wearing a valid CHP uniform, or about another half a dozen things necessary in a speeding ticket trial. An attorney practicing in Bakersfield, Delano, Lamont, or other places along the highway 99 corridor, can use this information to either possibly win your case at trial or have the points and fine reduced in a plea agreement.