(a) It is a violation of this section for any person to drive any vehicle on any public highway in any race, speed competition or contest, drag race or acceleration contest, test of physical endurance, exhibition of speed or acceleration, or for the purpose of making a speed record.
(b) “Drag race” is defined as the operation of two or more vehicles from a point side by side at accelerating speeds in a competitive attempt to outdistance each other, or the operation of one or more vehicles over a common selected course, from the same point to the same point, for the purpose of comparing the relative speeds or power of acceleration of such vehicle or vehicles within a certain distance or time limit.
(c) “Racing” is defined as the use of one or more vehicles in an attempt to outgain, outdistance, or prevent another vehicle from passing, to arrive at a given destination ahead of another vehicle or vehicles, or to test the physical stamina or endurance of drivers over long distance driving routes.
(d) Every person violating subsection (a), if convicted, shall be punished as follows:
(1) For a first conviction by a fine in the amount of five hundred dollars ($500) and imprisonment for a period of not less than five days nor more than 90 days, provided that the sentence of imprisonment shall be suspended and, in lieu thereof, the person shall serve 30 days probation.
(2) For a second conviction, by a fine in the amount of three thousand dollars ($3,000) and imprisonment for not less than 10 days nor more than six months, provided that the sentence of imprisonment shall be suspended, and in lieu thereof, the person shall serve six months probation.
(3) For a third or subsequent conviction, by a fine in the amount of six thousand dollars ($6,000) and imprisonment for not more than one year, provided that the sentence of imprisonment shall be suspended and, in lieu thereof, the person shall serve one year probation.
(e) In addition to the fines and penalties set out in subsection (d), on a first conviction, the court shall prohibit any person convicted of driving a vehicle in violation of this section from driving a motor vehicle on the public highways of this state for a period not exceeding six months, and the license of the person shall be suspended for such period by the Secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency pursuant to Section 32-5A-195 . On a second or subsequent conviction, the court shall prohibit any person convicted of driving a vehicle in violation of this section from driving a motor vehicle on the public highways of this state for a period not exceeding one year, and the license of the person shall be suspended for that period by the Secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency pursuant to Section 32-5A-195 .
(f)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person arrested for driving a vehicle in violation of subsection (a) shall be immediately removed from the vehicle. The vehicle, regardless of ownership or possessory interest of the operator or person present in the vehicle, shall be impounded by any duly sworn law enforcement officer. If there is an emergency or medical necessity jeopardizing life or limb, the law enforcement officer may elect not to impound the vehicle. The law enforcement officer making the impoundment shall direct an approved towing service to tow the vehicle to the garage of the towing service, storage lot, or other place of safety and maintain custody and control of the vehicle until the registered owner or authorized agent of the registered owner claims the vehicle by paying all reasonable and customary towing and storage fees for the services of the towing company. The vehicle shall then be released to the registered owner or an agent of the owner.
(2) Any towing service or towing company removing the vehicle at the direction of the law enforcement officer in accordance with this section shall have a lien on the motor vehicle for all reasonable and customary fees relating to the towing and storage of the motor vehicle. This lien shall be subject and subordinate to all prior security interests and other liens affecting the vehicle whether evidenced on the certificate of title or otherwise. Notice of any sale or other proceedings relative to this lien shall be given to the holders of all prior security interests or other liens by official service of process at least 15 days prior to any sale or other proceedings.
(g) It is also a violation of this section for any person to participate in any race, competition, contest, test, or exhibition prohibited in subsection (a) as an organizer or spectator. For the purposes of this subsection, an organizer is any person who promotes participation in, coordinates, facilitates, or collects monies at any location for any race or drag race, or purposefully causes the movement of traffic to slow or stop for any such race or drag race. For the purposes of this section, a spectator is any person who has purchased a ticket for admission to the race or drag race or who is otherwise knowingly present at and views the race or drag race as the result of an affirmative choice to attend or remain at the location of the race or drag race. A person who is merely in the vicinity of the race or drag race, but is not an organizer or spectator as defined herein, shall not be held in violation of this subsection. Any person in violation of this subsection shall be punished as provided in Section 32-5A-8 , except no imprisonment shall be ordered for a violation of this subsection.
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