Drivers, spectators will now face jail time, $1,000 fine for street racing in Doraville
DORAVILLE, Ga. - Drivers caught street racing and drifting can expect a stiffer punishment if they are inside the Doraville city limits.
Organizers and drivers now face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, according to a law the Doraville City Council passed on Monday.
FOX 5 met with police and the city's mayor at Honeysuckle Park on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the crackdown. They said earlier this year, more than 100 people were cited for loitering in connection with illegal racing on that very property.
City leaders said the speeding and stunts have gotten out of hand.
"I think since the pandemic," Mayor Joseph Geierman said. "I don't know if it's because people are bored. I think people are starting to post it on social media. This gets other people to do, sort of, copycat crimes."
That's why city leaders said spectators, the ones likely posting videos similar to this, also need to be punished.
In the city's newly passed ordinance, spectators could be fined up to $1,000.
"Everything is on YouTube in seconds now," Gene Callaway, with the Doraville Police Department, explained. "So people are being able to see it instantaneously almost - even you have the live aspect of Facebook or other social media where you're filming it live and you're like 'Oh, I wanna go see this.'"
The ordinance states anyone involved faces up to six months in jail.
Doraville is the first city to join Atlanta in establishing a policy to punish participants.
"There probably needs to be a look at this by the State Legislature to try to look at some of the more systemic things. This is a regional problem and we need to have a regional or statewide solution to it," Mayor Geierman told FOX 5 reporter Brian Hill.
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Callaway went on to say "before, a loitering fine, I think is $50. It's a slap on the wrist."
It's slap on the wrist for a dangerous and costly activity.
"Someone could be an inadvertent bystander who gets hurt. Damage to private property and then it's just a noise nuisance," the Mayor said.
While they can't be sure the stiffer punishment will eliminate street racing, Mayor Geierman is hoping it'll persuade drivers to find something else to occupy their time.
"It's just another tool in the tool chest for our police to combat this problem," he said.
The ordinance is now in effect.