Every state is different as others have said. In NC the 2 elements for reckless driving are:
(a) Any person who drives any vehicle upon a highway or any public vehicular area carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others shall be guilty of reckless driving.
(b) Any person who drives any vehicle upon a highway or any public vehicular area without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property shall be guilty of reckless driving.
NCGS 20-140 (a) and (b)
I can only assume that most states laws, although different, should have elements similar to those listed above. Some states attach a certain speed number to it, some don't. What I don't like about NC's law is that it's pretty much up to the charging officer's discretion as to what is "without due caution or circumspection". I guess if he wanted to be a real ***** about it, 1 mph over the speed limit could be construed to be without due caution, right? How about following too close? Running a stoplight? All of which have their own charges listed, and are all infractions-where as C&R driving is a class 2 misdemeanor with possible jail time attached.
Good luck to your dad, I hope he can get it all straightened out.