5 Driving Violations That Could Land You in Jail

Drinking and driving, drag racing, and fleeing the scene of an accident are just a few of the road crimes that could lead to jail time.
Written by Elan Mcafee
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
There are some driving violations that will stretch beyond a ticket or slap on the wrist.
We all value our freedom to drive where we please. While states differ in traffic laws and punishments for violations, there are some instances of motor-related violations that are likely to land you in jail regardless of location.
So, here's the rundown on a few of the most serious moving violations, with a little help from
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Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense that is likely to lead to a trip to the police station. In most states, the legal limit for DUI/DWI in terms of blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08%. Exceeding that limit may mean driving after just one drink, which means many people commit this violation without really knowing they have done it.
The "I’ve only had one drink" excuse, however, won’t go far with an officer of the law. Even at a low-level intoxication, your balance, coordination, hearing, reaction times, and speech are adversely impacted, making it unsafe for the driver and others to be on the road. Those convicted of DUI/DWI will face a
suspended license and steep fines
, and repeat offenses can be a felony charge.

Reckless driving

Reckless driving could take any number of forms, but the standard definition is to willfully and wantonly drive with disregard for the safety of other people or property. Needless to say, you won’t win any friends in the police or sheriff’s department as a reckless driver.
Such behavior includes excessive speeding, swerving, improper passing, and running stop signs or stop lights. Much of reckless driving results in a misdemeanor charge, but it could be a felony if there is bodily injury to another person or significant property damage.

Fleeing the scene of an accident

Whether you flee from the scene of an accident or from police when pulled over, you will surely be hauled to the pokey. Whenever an accident occurs, all involved parties are required to remain to give information and offer help to the injured as a matter of basic decency. While fleeing the scene of an accident is usually a misdemeanor, fleeing from an officer could be a felony if it is a repeat charge. In both situations, the person doing the running also risks a driver’s license suspension.
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Driving without a license

Whether your driver’s license is suspended, revoked, or never existed, there is little excuse for being behind the wheel.
If it is a first offense and no accident occurred, you might avoid a jail cell. Repeat offenders or those involved in an accident, however, are likely to get booked at the station. The charge can range from a Class A misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the circumstances.

Street racing

Street racing may look like fun in the movies or seem harmless when executed on a deserted road, but there can be serious consequences. Such racing is dangerous with high speeds and often inflated egos. There may also be spectators at risk. It's advisable to search out alternate means to an adrenaline rush, because not only could it lead to jail time, it also comes with steep fines and the potential to lose your license.
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