The crime of Street Racing in Illinois (often informally called Drag Racing) is defined and prohibited by 625 ILCS 5/11-506. That section of the Illinois Compiled Statutes defines Street Racing as well as the more serious charge of Aggravated Street Racing as follows:
Street Racing in Illinois
(1) The operation of 2 or more vehicles from a point side by side at accelerating speeds in a competitive attempt to outdistance each other; or
(2) The operation of one or more vehicles over a common selected course, each starting at the same point, for the purpose of comparing the relative speeds or power of acceleration of such vehicle or vehicles within a certain distance or time limit; or
(3) The use of one or more vehicles in an attempt to outgain or outdistance another vehicle; or
(4) The use of one or more vehicles to prevent another vehicle from passing; or
(5) The use of one or more vehicles to arrive at a given destination ahead of another vehicle or vehicles; or
(6) The use of one or more vehicles to test the physical stamina or endurance of drivers over long-distance driving routes.
A person who permits their vehicle to be used for street racing is charged with a Class B misdemeanor in Illinois, for which the maximum penalty is 6 months in the county jail.
A person who engages in street racing will face a Class A misdemeanor charge in Illinois, which carries up to 1 year in the county jail for a first offense. Subsequent offenses are Class 4 felony charges, which carry up to 3 years in prison. Illinois law also calls for at least a 1 year driver’s license revocation for those convicted of street racing.
Aggravated Street Racing in Illinois
In the event that street racing results in a car accident with great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another person, then the charge increases from street racing to Aggravated Street Racing. Aggravated street racing in Illinois is a Class 4 felony with unique sentencing requirements that state a defendant “if sentenced to a term of imprisonment shall be sentenced to not less than one year nor more than 12 years.”
The criminal penalties and driver’s license sanctions for street racing and aggravated street racing in Illinois are quite serious, and for that reason a person accused of either crime is wise to exercise their right to remain silent and seek an attorney at once, as it is vital to properly handle the case.