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Speeding is a serious offense in the Commonwealth

The court system treats speeding as a serious offense in Virginia, especially if a driver has previously received a conviction for DUI or other traffic-related issues.

Speeding is a form of aggressive driving and, in the Commonwealth, a conviction can bring some severe penalties.

By the numbers

Why do lawmakers take excessive speed so seriously? According to statistics gathered by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, more than a quarter of the traffic deaths in our country in 2016 were attributed to speeding. In fact, speeding has been a contributing factor in about a third of all traffic fatalities for the past 20 years.

Reasons for excessive speed

Many times, drivers who speed are running late for appointments, meetings or events. It is also a behavior often fueled by frustration due to traffic jams or slow-downs caused by highway construction. Experts set speed limits based on ideal conditions, so even if drivers adhere to the speed limit, they may still get into trouble if they are driving too fast for safety given the current road conditions, such as low visibility, heavy traffic or inclement weather. 

Virginia penalties

There are many circumstances that may affect the severity of the penalties for a reckless driving offense such as speeding. Often, drivers who are speeding may also be under the influence of alcohol, or they may pass a school bus or hit another vehicle and flee the scene. Depending on the situation, drivers could face fines of up to $2,500, the suspension of their driver’s license, points added to their driving record and even jail time of up to 12 months.

Options for reckless drivers

An arrest can be an extremely stressful and even frightening event and leave someone feeling totally overwhelmed. However, there may be alternatives to the usual penalties. These include volunteering for community service, enrolling in driver’s training courses or signing up for anger management or substance abuse counseling. 

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Boyce, Leahy & Francescon, Lawyers
9300 Grant Avenue, Suite 200
Manassas, VA 20110

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