Speed Contest and Speed Racing Prosecution
To prove the defendant is guilty of exhibition of speed / participating in a speed contest, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
1) The defendant drove a motor vehicle (on a highway/in an off street parking facility); AND
2) The defendant was, in fact, racing against another car, clock, or other timing device.
The prosecution can wwwnstrate the second element of a 23109 violation by proving that two drivers met and indicated that they intended to race each other. In addition, the police can only cite one of the participants and testify or have a witness testify that will establish there was a race. If there were any other people helping organize the race or exhibition of speed, these persons can be convicted of this violation under subsection (b-d) of 23109.
The following are some examples where the court upheld the conviction of a person for a violation of CVC 23109:
* Accelerating an automobile in such a manner as to cause rear tires to lose traction was conduct that fell within provision of this section prohibiting a person from engaging in any motor vehicle exhibition of speed on a highway. See In re F. E. (App. 2 Dist. 1977) 136 Cal.Rptr. 547, 67 Cal.App.3d 222.
* Acceleration so rapidly as to break the traction between a vehicle’s tires and the pavement may constitute an exhibition of speed within the meaning of this section, regardless of whether another vehicle is involved, or whether the posted speed limit is violated. 38 Op.Atty.Gen. 102.