Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–301.34. Fleeing from a vehicle inspection officer in a public or private vehicle-for-hire.

(a)(1) An operator of a public or private vehicle-for-hire who knowingly fails or refuses to bring the public or private vehicle-for-hire to an immediate stop, or who flees or attempts to elude a vehicle inspection officer, following the vehicle inspection officer’s signal to bring the public or private vehicle-for-hire to a stop, shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or be imprisoned for not more than 180 days.

(2) An operator of a public or private vehicle-for-hire who violates paragraph (1) of this subsection and while doing so drives the public or private vehicle-for-hire in a manner that would constitute reckless driving under § 50-2201.04(b), or cause property damage or bodily injury, shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or be imprisoned for not more than 5 years.

(b) It is an affirmative defense under this section if the operator of a public or private vehicle-for-hire can show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that his or her failure to stop immediately was based upon a reasonable belief that his or her personal safety or the safety of passengers was at risk. In determining whether the operator has met this burden, the court may consider the following factors:

(1) The time and location of the event;

(2) Whether the vehicle inspection officer was in a vehicle clearly identifiable by its markings, or if unmarked, was occupied by a vehicle inspection officer in uniform or displaying a badge or other sign of authority;

(3) The conduct of the public or private vehicle-for-hire operator while being followed by the vehicle inspection officer;

(4) Whether the public vehicle-for-hire operator stopped at the first available reasonably lighted or populated area; and

(5) Any other factor the court considers relevant.

(c)(1)(A) The Director of the DFHV shall suspend the license or licenses for operating a public or private vehicle-for-hire, as required by the DFHV pursuant to this subchapter, of a person convicted under subsection (a)(1) of this section for a minimum of 30 days, but no more than 180 days, without further administrative action by the DFHV.

(B) The Director of the DFHV may suspend the license or licenses for operating a public or private vehicle-for-hire, as required by the DFHV pursuant to this subchapter, of a person convicted under subsection (a)(2) of this section for a period of no more than one year without further administrative action by the DFHV.

(2) A suspension of a public or private vehicle-for-hire operator’s license or licenses under paragraph (1) of this subsection for a person who has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment for a violation of subsection (a)(1) or (2) of this section shall begin following the person’s release from incarceration.


(Mar. 25, 1986, D.C. Law 6-97, § 20o; as added June 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-320, § 402, 60 DCR 3390; Mar. 10, 2015, D.C. Law 20-197, § 2(o), 61 DCR 12430; June 22, 2016, D.C. Law 21-124, § 401(ii), 63 DCR 7076.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 50-329.05.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-320 added this section.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-197 rewrote the section heading; substituted “public or private vehicle-for-hire” for “public vehicle-for-hire” throughout the section; and substituted “vehicle inspection officer” for “public vehicle inspection officer” throughout the section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary addition of section, see § 402 of the Omnibus Criminal Code Amendments Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-599, January 14, 2013, 60 DCR 1017).

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 402 of the Omnibus Criminal Code Amendment Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-44, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5381, 20 DCSTAT 1281).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-197: Section 7 of D.C. Law 20-197 provided, in part, that §§ 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the act shall apply as of March 10, 2015.