When you come to a stop at a stoplight, it is not an open invitation to rev your engine. When the light turns green, it is not a signal to slam on the gas so hard that the tires squeal. When taking a turn in a vehicle, the driver should refrain from skidding around the bend or completing a series of unnecessarily abrupt turns. This isn’t Tokyo Drift. All of these actions qualify as “Exhibition driving” and are punishable in the State of North Dakota under N.D.C.C. § 39-08-03.1, or an equivalent city ordinance.
Although the weather has finally turned in North Dakota and people are encouraged to leave their winter hibernation state of mind behind and go cruise the town; laws remain unchanged by season. No matter how nice it is outside, racing another vehicle on a highway, street, alley, sidewalk, or any public or private parking lot, open to the public, or area will always remain punishable by law. North Dakota Century Code § 39-08-03.1, defines, ‘drag race’ as the operation of two or more vehicles from a point side by side by accelerating rapidly in a competitive attempt to cause one vehicle to outdistance the other; or the operation of one or more vehicles over a common selected course from the same point to the same point for the purpose of comparing the relative speed or powers of acceleration of such vehicle or vehicles within a certain distance or time limit.
Exhibition driving or drag racing are never a good idea and can lead to detriment beyond being caught for solely the act. If one drives in this manner and causes an accident involving death or personal injury, the punishment is intensified. Failing to comply with the requirements of Section 39-08 of the North Dakota Century Code involving an accident that causes personal injury, the person is guilty of a class A misdemeanor. Furthermore, any person negligently failing to comply with the requirements of this section under circumstances involving serious personal injury is guilty of a class C felony. Finally, there is the ultimate risk one bears when driving in this manner. Any person negligently failing to comply with the requirements of this section under circumstances involving death is guilty of a class B felony.
There is a time and place for racing vehicles, however, leave that to places like River Cities Speedway. As stated in the North Dakota Century Code § 39-08-03.1, this sort of driving should be left to be carried out in an organized manner on a track or other privately owned area specifically set aside and used solely for such purposes by drivers of motor vehicles, including snowmobiles. No matter how open the road is off the track, it is imperative to not engage in this driving behavior.
If you or someone you know was involved in an accident involving drag racing or exhibition driving, contacting an attorney may be in your best interest as they can help protect your legal rights throughout the process. Do not hesitate to contact Rosenquist Law Office at (701) 775-0654 or email us at email@example.com to schedule your free consultation.
*The information contained in this article and on this website is for informational purposes only. This information is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as so.