What is a Wet Reckless?

Posted about 4 years ago. Applies to California, 2 helpful votes


DUI Wet Reckless

In certain instances, individuals arrested on a suspicion of a California DUI may be able to plead to a "wet reckless" (sometimes erroneously referred to as "wet and reckless") and get the DUI charge dismissed. Pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23103.5 "wet reckless" is a reckless driving charge, related to alcohol.

Often a wet reckless plea serves as a compromise between a defendant facing a DUI conviction and a prosecution that has a weak case. It is also often used for those individuals with a low blood alcohol content or where your Los Angeles DUI attorney exposed a significant weakness in your drunk driving case. Penalties for a "wet reckless" are lighter than for a DUI and include:

  • Informal probation
  • Reduced DUI fines
  • Reduced hours of DUI education

A "wet reckless" conviction does not carry with it court-ordered mandatory driver's license suspensions. Further, no mandatory jail time exists for drivers charged with repeat offenses that are reduced to a "wet reckless."

It is important to note however, that an alcohol-related reckless driving is a priorable offense. That is, should you be arrested within 10 years of receiving a wet reckless for a another DUI, a wet reckless is treated as a prior conviction. Further, insurance companies treat wet reckless as DUIs for policy purposes. However, a wet reckless is beneficial is such instances as professional licensing, housing, and job applications because it is not considered a "DUI conviction" and, depending on the circumstances, may not need to be disclosed.

Additional Resources

Los Angeles DUI Lawyer

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Blog

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Blog

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The definition, charges, and penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) vary by state and depend on a number of factors.

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