§ 50–2201.05b. Fleeing from a law enforcement officer in a motor vehicle.
(a) For the purposes of this section, the term:
(1) “Law enforcement officer” means a sworn member of the Metropolitan Police Department or a sworn member of any other police force operating in the District of Columbia.
(2) “Signal” means a communication made by hand, voice, or the use of emergency lights, sirens, or other visual or aural devices.
(b)(1) An operator of a motor vehicle who knowingly fails or refuses to bring the motor vehicle to an immediate stop, or who flees or attempts to elude a law enforcement officer, following a law enforcement officer’s signal to bring the motor vehicle to a stop, shall be fined not more than not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or both.
(2) An operator of a motor vehicle who violates paragraph (1) of this subsection and while doing so drives the motor vehicle in a manner that would constitute reckless driving under § 50-2201.04(b), or causes property damage or bodily injury, shall be fined not more than not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.
(c) It is an affirmative defense under this section if the defendant can show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the failure to stop immediately was based upon a reasonable belief that the defendant’s personal safety is at risk. In determining whether the defendant has met this burden, the court may consider the following factors:
(1) The time and location of the event;
(2) Whether the law enforcement officer was in a vehicle clearly identifiable by its markings, or if unmarked, was occupied by a law enforcement officer in uniform or displaying a badge or other sign of authority;
(3) The defendant’s conduct while being followed by the law enforcement officer;
(4) Whether the defendant stopped at the first available reasonably lighted or populated area; and
(5) Any other factor the court considers relevant.
(d)(1) The Mayor or his designee, pursuant to § 50-1403.01, may suspend the operating permit of a person convicted under subsection (b)(1) of this section for a period of not more than 180 days and may suspend the operating permit of a person convicted under subsection (b)(2) of this section for a period of not more than 1 year.
(2) A suspension of an operator’s permit under paragraph (1) of this subsection for a person who has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment for a violation of subsection (b)(1) or (2) of this section shall begin following the person’s release from incarceration.
(e) Prosecution for violations under this section shall be conducted in the name of the District of Columbia by the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, or his or her assistants, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.