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What is a speed contest? According to CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 23109Public Offenses, a speed contest arrest could result from many different violations and does not even require you to have been in a car or racing vehicle.

In paragraph (a), “As used in this section, a motor vehicle speed contest includes a motor vehicle race against another vehicle, a clock, or other timing device.” This speed contest could be a drag race, street race, or what is known as “drifting.”

Paragraph (b) states, “A person shall not aid or abet in any motor vehicle speed contest on any highway.” Just being in the area where a speed contest is scheduled could lead to your arrest and a ticket for abetting a speed contest. 

Most “participants” are cited for “aiding and abetting” when they agree to place barricades along the route or act as a timekeeper. It is never a good idea to get involved in these illegal activities and jeopardize your future and safety.

California Speed Contests

Most often, an illegal speed contest is arranged by criminal elements. Racers often put up an entry fee, or in some cases, as on the Fast & Furious films, racers put up the title of their car against another driver in a speed contest. 

When stopped and accused of a speed contest violation, you are accused of a misdemeanor crime. Your vehicle will likely be impounded, and you will need legal counsel. 

People convicted under CVC 23109 are fined $355 to $1,000 plus state and  county surcharges that could cost as much as five or six times the base fine. They face county jail imprisonment from one to 90 days;  a suspension of their driving privileges for up to six months; probation; or a combination of these penalties. Second or subsequent convictions will lead to more extreme penalties if convicted.

When arrested for a speed contest event participation, use your “right to remain silent” and call Bigger & Harman immediately before giving a statement to law enforcement or an officer of the court. 

As the weather warms up, these road races become more prevalent in Central and Southern California. Stay away from these illegal events, but if you get caught  in a legal roundup, get legal assistance from a traffic attorney immediately.

Contact Bigger & Harman Immediately for a Speed Contest Arrest in Kern County 

Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, before you make any statement to anyone. You might think of a speed contest as a traffic infraction, but it is a misdemeanor, and you face possible jail time. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

We can represent anyone accused of the misdemeanor crime of participation in a speed contest.   



The 2020 CA Driver Handbook.pdf

CVC Section 23109Public Offenses 
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