Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–2201.04. Speeding and reckless driving.

(a) No vehicle shall be operated at a greater rate of speed than permitted by the regulations adopted under the authority of this part.

(b) A person shall be guilty of reckless driving if the person drives a vehicle upon a highway carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard for the rights or safety of others, or without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger a person or property.

(b-1) A person shall be guilty of aggravated reckless driving if the person violates subsection (b) of this section and the person does one or more of the following:

(1) Operates the vehicle at a rate or speed at or greater than 30 miles per hour over the stated speed limit;

(2) Causes bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another; or

(3) Causes property damage in excess of $1,000.

(c)(1) A person violating subsection (b) of this section shall, upon conviction for the first offense, be fined no more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or incarcerated for no more than 90 days, or both.

(2) A person violating subsection (b) of this section when the person has been convicted of a prior offense under subsection (b) of this section within a 2-year period and is being sentenced on the current offense shall be fined no more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or incarcerated for no more than 180 days.

(3) A person violating subsection (b) of this section when the person has 2 or more prior convictions for offenses under subsection (b) of this section within a 2-year period and is being sentenced on the current offense shall be fined no more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or incarcerated for no more than one year.

(c-1)(1) A person violating subsection (b-1) of this section shall, upon conviction for the first offense, be fined no more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or incarcerated for no more than 180 days, or both.

(2) A person violating subsection (b-1) of this section when the person has one or more prior convictions for offenses under subsection (b-1) within a 2-year period and is being sentenced on the current offense shall be fined no more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or incarcerated for no more than one year.

(d) Any individual violating any provision of this section, except where the offense constitutes aggravated reckless driving, shall be subject to a civil fine under the District of Columbia Traffic Adjudication Act (§ 50-2301.01 et seq.).

(e) A presumption shall exist that a reckless, careless, hazardous, or aggressive driving conviction that occurred in a foreign jurisdiction constitutes reckless driving as provided in subsection (b) of this section, unless the District can show evidence that the person met the requirements for aggravated reckless driving in subsection (b-1) of this section.

(f) The fines set forth in this section shall not be limited by § 22-3571.01.


(Mar. 3, 1925, 43 Stat. 1123, ch. 443, § 9; July 3, 1926, 44 Stat. 814, ch. 739, § 5; Feb. 27, 1931, 46 Stat. 1427, ch. 317, § 4; June 24, 1936, 49 Stat. 1901, ch. 749; Nov. 25, 1942, 56 Stat. 1023, ch. 642, § 1; Sept. 12, 1978, D.C. Law 2-104, § 601, 25 DCR 1275; Sept. 14, 1982, D.C. Law 4-145, § 7, 29 DCR 3138; Apr. 5, 2005, D.C. Law 15-289, § 2(c), 52 DCR 1446; Apr. 27, 2013, D.C. Law 19-266, § 102(c), 59 DCR 12957; June 8, 2013, D.C. Law 19-316, § 2, 60 DCR 1713; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 113(e), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 40-712.

1973 Ed., § 40-605.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 4-501, § 23-581, § 50-329.05, § 50-2201.05b, § 50-2201.27, and § 50-2302.02.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-289 rewrote subsec. (c) which had read:

“(c) Any individual violating any provision of this section where the offense constitutes reckless driving shall upon conviction for the 1st offense be fined not more than $250 or imprisoned not more than 3 months, or both; and upon conviction for the 2nd or any subsequent offense committed within 2 years from the date of any such previous offense such individual shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.”

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-266 substituted “$2,500” for “$1,000” in (c).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-316 rewrote (b) and (c); added (b-1) and (c-1); substituted “aggravated reckless driving” for “reckless driving” in (d); and added (e).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 added the subsection designated herein as (f).

Cross References

Alcoholic beverage control, operation of trains, streetcars, and other vehicles by intoxicated persons, see § 25-1009.

Compensation of victims of violent crime, “crime of violence,” “crime,” and “victim” defined, see § 4-501.

Criminal procedure, warrantless arrests, see § 23-581.

Traffic adjudication, violations prosecuted as criminal offenses, see § 50-2302.02.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 102(c) of Comprehensive Impaired Driving and Alcohol Testing Program Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-429, July 30, 2012, 59 DCR 9387).

For temporary amendment of (c), see § 102(c) of the Comprehensive Impaired Driving and Alcohol Testing Program Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-508, October 26, 2012, 59 DCR 12774).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 102(c) of the Comprehensive Impaired Driving and Alcohol Testing Program Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-3, January 29, 2013, 60 DCR 2762, 20 DCSTAT 410).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 113(e) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 102(c) of the Comprehensive Impaired Driving and Alcohol Testing Program Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-51, April 17, 2013, 60 DCR 6344, 20 DCSTAT 1360).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Reckless Driving Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-75, May 23, 2013, 60 DCR 7597, 20 DCSTAT 1428).

Editor's Notes

Section 5 of 46 Stat. 1429, ch. 317, effective Feb. 27, 1931, provided that all convictions under the Act shall be reported by the clerk of the court to the commissioners [Mayor] or their [his] designated agent.

Definitions applicable: For definitions applicable in this section, see § 50-2201.02.

Section 8 of D.C. Law 19-316 provided that the act shall apply as of June 1, 2013.

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.