7 Things You Didn’t Know About An “Exhibition of Speed”

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Overview of  A “Speed Ex”

Under California Vehicle Code Section 231091 , a driver can be arrested for engaging in a motor vehicle exhibition of speed on a highway or aiding or abetting in a motor vehicle exhibition of speed on a highway. Conduct that constitutes an unlawful exhibition of speed is sometimes found when an intoxicated driver accelerates their car in such manner as to deliberately cause it to skid. This usually causes the driver to lose control of the car and may endanger bystanders or other cars.


In some DUI cases, an experienced DUI attorney may be able to plea bargain and get the DUI charge reduced to a lesser offense such as exhibition of speed under vehicle code 23109 .  An exhibition of speed offense will not count as a prior DUI conviction if the driver gets another DUI conviction later.

In many DUI cases, a driver may be offered an exhibition of speed reduction in charges by the prosecution if the results of a chemical test do not conclusively prove intoxication or there are credibility issues with the testimony of the arresting officer.

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Exhibition of Speed Vs. a DUI

An exhibition of speed under California Vehicle Code 23109(c)2 has many advantages over pleading to a DUI.  These include

  • Shorter probation
  • Shorter county jail
  • Reduced fines and
  • No priorability

No priorability can be especially important if you pick up a second DUI case with a ten year period.  This new case would have harsher penalties and much tougher sentencing if you had been convicted in a prior case or plead to a charge that has priorability such as a wet reckless or DUI.

Exhibition of Speed Frequently Asked Questions

1) If I Plea Bargain My DUI Charge Down To An Exhibition Of Speed Offense, Will I get Less Probation Time?

Yes, An exhibition of speed offense under vehicle code 23109 carries a 1 to 2 year probation term and this is less than the probation term for a DUI offense, which is 3 to 5 years of probation

2) Does An Exhibition of Speed Offense Carry Fines?

Yes, An exhibition of speed offense carries fines of up to $500.

3) Is An Exhibition Of Speed Offense A Misdemeanor In California?

Yes, An exhibition of speed offense is a misdemeanor in California.

4) How Can I Know If The Prosecutor In My DUI Case Will Accept A Plea Bargain To An Exhibition Of Speed Offense?

Prosecutors may offer a plea bargain of an exhibition of speed offense instead of a DUI offense in cases where the prosecution may have trouble proving the DUI case against a person in court. Usually these cases involve mistakes that were made in the police report after someone was arrested for low breath or blood alcohol samples.

5) Will My Driver’s License Be Suspended If I Am Convicted of an Exhibition of Speed Offense?

No, Exhibition of speed offenses are not punished by driver’s license suspensions in California.

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Choosing An Attorney

The state of California has implemented tough drunk driving laws, and drivers may be arrested for an exhibition of speed if they engage in unlawful speed contests such as drag racing while intoxicated in California. Drivers who are facing charges of exhibition of speed may have concerns about the serious penalties of this offense such as jail time and fines. If you are facing a DUI charge, you may have questions about whether your charge can be reduced to an exhibition of speed charge so that you can avoid a criminal trial.

At the Aizman Law Firm, our experienced attorneys can help you with questions you might have about getting your charges reduced to a non-alcohol related offense, such an exhibition of speed offense. If you need to speak to an attorney about your DUI case, please call our office at: (818) 351-9555.

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  1. California Vehicle Code 23109(a) – A person shall not engage in a motor vehicle speed contest on a highway. As used in this section, a motor vehicle speed contest includes a motor vehicle race against another vehicle, a clock, or other timing device. For purposes of this section, an event in which the time to cover a prescribed route of more than 20 miles is measured, but where the vehicle does not exceed the speed limits, is not a speed contest []
  2. California Vehicle Code 23109(c) – A person shall not engage in a motor vehicle exhibition of speed on a highway, and a person shall not aid or abet in a motor vehicle exhibition of speed on any highway. []

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