Reckless Driving in Virginia
Are you aware that driving 80 miles per hour on interstates in Virginia is a crime? In fact, it’s a Class 1 Misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. You can also lose your license for up to six months. And as a result of recent legislation that raised the speed limit to 70 mph on some interstates, you can now be charged with Reckless Driving by going only 10 mph over the speed limit. For instance, if you are caught driving 80 mph on Interstate 66 heading from Fairfax to Warren County, where the speed limit is now 70 mph, you are now facing a serious criminal charge.
The truth is, driving 10 mph over the speed limit in any other situation is a simple traffic infraction—you would pay a fine (not more than $250), and you would not even have to appear in court. In fact, a person speeding 54 mph in a 35 mph zone, which is 19 mph over the speed limit, would still only face a traffic infraction and not have to appear in court. But if you speed 10 mph over the speed limit on a stretch of highway with a posted speed limit of 70 mph, you must appear in court and are facing a criminal Reckless Driving misdemeanor charge. How is that fair?
This is precisely why the Virginia General Assembly, through its law makers, should fix the current reckless driving laws. An easy fix would be to limit Reckless Driving by speed to drivers speeding at least 20 mph over the speed limit.
For more information about Reckless Driving and other traffic offenses, please call attorney Kosa So at the Mason So Law Firm.
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