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What is a Wet Reckless?

Posted by attorney Hussein Chahine

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.

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