Reckless Driving Charge in WA State.

Burg & Lantz: Reckless Driving Defense
Burg & Lantz: Reckless Driving Defense

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What does reckless driving driving mean?

Reckless driving is a criminal offense, a gross-misdemeanor.  This means that there is possible punishment of up to 364 days in jail and a $5000 fine. 

A conviction also carries a mandatory 30 day loss of license, though you can still drive for work with an occupational restricted license.

Reckless Driving:

  • Gross misdemeanor
  • 30 day loss of license if convicted
  • SR-22 insurance

Reckless driving is defined under the laws of the State of Washington. It has a very specific definition and means according to statute.  Here is the relevant portion of the statute:

RCW 46.61.500 Reckless driving -- Penalty.

(1) Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. Violation of the provisions of this section is a gross misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of not more than 364 days and by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars.

(2) The license or permit to drive or any nonresident privilege of any person convicted of reckless driving shall be suspended by the department for not less than thirty days.

Are there any other forms of reckless driving (other than racing)?

Yes "embracing" while driving is also a crime. According to statute, you may not "embrace" another person while that person is driving.

Here is that law:

RCW 46.61.665 Embracing another while driving.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle upon the highways of this state when such person has in his or her embrace another person which prevents the free and unhampered operation of such vehicle. Operation of a motor vehicle in violation of this section is prima facie evidence of reckless driving.

Charged with Reckless Driving or Racing?

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