Street racing is a criminal offense in the Illinois Vehicle Code, and the penalties can be very serious. The law is 625 ILCS 5/11-506, and it provides that it is illegal to engage in street racing on any highway in the state of Illinois. A highway is generally any public road.
It is also against the law for a vehicle owner to allow another person to use his or her car for street racing.
Street racing is defined as any of the following factual scenarios:
- Two or more vehicles driving side by side in a contest of speed or distance.
- Two or more vehicles competing on a course measuring speed or acceleration within a distance or time limit.
- One vehicle or more attempting to outgain or outdistance another.
- One vehicle or more preventing another from passing.
- One vehicle or more used to reach a destination before another.
- One vehicle or more used to test the stamina of the drivers over long distances.
The sentence for street racing is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a punishment of up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. The court is entitled to impose a sentence of community service.
A person who allows another to use his or her vehicle in street racing is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, which is up to 180 days jail and a fine of $1,500.
The critical issue for street racing is that a conviction will cause the Secretary of State to revoke the defendant’s driver’s license for a minimum period of one year. The defendant will have to appear before a hearing officer in order to get reinstated.
Street racing is a felony offense called aggravated street racing on the second offense (which also has a mandatory minimum fine of $500). If the driver is involved in an accident and the result is great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement, then the offense is an enhanced Class 4 felony with a sentencing range of 1-12 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.