California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)
2181. Evading Peace Officer: Reckless DrivingDownload PDF
2181.Evading Peace Officer: Reckless Driving (Veh. Code,
§§ 2800.1(a), 2800.2)
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with evading a peace
officer with wanton disregard for safety [in violation of Vehicle Code
sections 2800.1(a) and 2800.2].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
1. A peace officer driving a motor vehicle was pursuing the
2. The defendant, who was also driving a motor vehicle, willfully
ﬂed from, or tried to elude, the officer, intending to evade the
3. During the pursuit, the defendant drove with willful or wanton
disregard for the safety of persons or property;
4. All of the following were true:
a. There was at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front
of the peace officer’s vehicle;
b. The defendant either saw or reasonably should have seen the
c. The peace officer’s vehicle was sounding a siren as reasonably
d. The peace officer’s vehicle was distinctively marked;
e. The peace officer was wearing a distinctive uniform.
[A person employed as a police officer by <insert name of
agency that employs police offıcer> is a peace officer.]
[A person employed by <insert name of agency that employs
peace offıcer, e.g., “the Department of Fish and Wildlife”> is a peace
officer if <insert description of facts necessary to make
employee a peace offıcer, e.g., “designated by the director of the agency as
a peace offıcer”>.]
Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on
purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt
someone else, or gain any advantage.
A person acts with wanton disregard for safety when (1) he or she is
aware that his or her actions present a substantial and unjustiﬁable risk
of harm, (2) and he or she intentionally ignores that risk. The person
does not, however, have to intend to cause damage.
[Driving with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or
property includes, but is not limited to, causing damage to property
while driving or committing three or more violations that are each
assigned a traffic violation point.]
[<insert traffıc violations alleged> are each assigned a
traffic violation point.]
A vehicle is distinctively marked if it has features that are reasonably
noticeable to other drivers, including a red lamp, siren, and at least one
other feature that makes it look different from vehicles that are not
used for law enforcement purposes.
Adistinctive uniform means clothing adopted by a law enforcement
agency to identify or distinguish members of its force. The uniform does
not have to be complete or of any particular level of formality. However,
a badge, without more, is not enough.
New January 2006; Revised August 2006
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction deﬁning the elements of
The jury must determine whether a peace officer was pursuing the defendant.
(People v. Flood (1998) 18 Cal.4th 470, 482 [76 Cal.Rptr.2d 180, 957 P.2d 869].)
The court must instruct the jury in the appropriate deﬁnition of “peace officer”
from the statute. (Ibid.) It is an error for the court to instruct that the witness is a
peace officer as a matter of law. (Ibid. [instruction that “Officer Bridgeman and
Officer Gurney are peace officers” was error].) If the witness is a police officer,
give the bracketed sentence that begins with “A person employed as a police
officer.” If the witness is another type of peace officer, give the bracketed sentence
that begins with “A person employed by.”
Give the bracketed deﬁnition of “driving with willful or wanton disregard” if there
is evidence that the defendant committed three or more traffic violations. The court
may also, at its discretion, give the bracketed sentence that follows this deﬁnition,
inserting the names of the traffic violations alleged.
On request, the court must give CALCRIM No. 3426, Voluntary Intoxication, if
there is sufficient evidence of voluntary intoxication to negate the intent to evade.
(People v. Finney (1980) 110 Cal.App.3d 705, 712 [168 Cal.Rptr. 80].)
On request, give CALCRIM No. 2241, Driver and Driving Deﬁned.
CALCRIM No. 2181 VEHICLE OFFENSES
• Elements. Veh. Code, §§ 2800.1(a), 2800.2.
• Willful or Wanton Disregard. People v. Schumacher (1961) 194 Cal.App.2d
335, 339–340 [14 Cal.Rptr. 924].
• Three Violations or Property Damage as Wanton
Disregard—Deﬁnitional. People v. Pinkston (2003) 112 Cal.App.4th 387,
392–393 [5 Cal.Rptr.3d 274].
• Distinctively Marked Vehicle. People v. Hudson (2006) 38 Cal.4th 1002,
1010–1011 [44 Cal.Rptr.3d 632, 136 P.3d 168].
• Distinctive Uniform. People v. Estrella (1995) 31 Cal.App.4th 716, 724 [37
Cal.Rptr.2d 383]; People v. Mathews (1998) 64 Cal.App.4th 485, 491 [75
• Jury Must Determine If Peace Officers. People v. Flood (1998) 18 Cal.4th
470, 482 [76 Cal.Rptr.2d 180, 957 P.2d 869].
• Red Lamp, Siren, Additional Distinctive Feature of Car, and Distinctive
Uniform Must Be Proved. People v. Hudson (2006) 38 Cal.4th 1002, 1013];
People v. Acevedo (2003) 105 Cal.App.4th 195, 199 [129 Cal.Rptr.2d 270];
People v. Brown (1989) 216 Cal.App.3d 596, 599–600 [264 Cal.Rptr. 908].
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against Public
Peace and Welfare, § 260.
5 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 91,
Sentencing, § 91.22[a][iv] (Matthew Bender).
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 142,
Crimes Against the Person, §§ 142.01[b][ii][B], 142.02[c] (Matthew Bender).
LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSES
• Misdemeanor Evading a Pursuing Peace Officer. Veh. Code, § 2800.1; People
v. Springﬁeld (1993) 13 Cal.App.4th 1674, 1680–1681 [17 Cal.Rptr.2d 278].
• Failure to Yield. Veh. Code, § 21806; People v. Diaz (2005) 125 Cal.App.4th
1484, 1491 [23 Cal.Rptr.3d 653]. (Lesser included offenses may not be used for
the requisite “three or more violations.”)
Inherently Dangerous Felony
A violation of Vehicle Code section 2800.2 is not an inherently dangerous felony
supporting a felony murder conviction. (People v. Howard (2005) 34 Cal.4th 1129,
1139 [23 Cal.Rptr.3d 306, 104 P.3d 107].)
See the Related Issues section to CALCRIM No. 2182, Evading Peace Offıcer:
VEHICLE OFFENSES CALCRIM No. 2181