Better Call Glew: Give Me A Wet Reckless, Please!

Hi Mr. Glew,

Last month I got a DUI and my friends are saying I should fight it and ask for something called a "wet reckless."

What's the difference between a wet reckless and a DUI and how do I get one?
If convicted of a DUI, pursuant to Vehicle Code section 23152(a) or 23152(b), a defendant faces, for a first offense, the possibility of up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1000, loss of driving privileges for at least 90 days, an alcohol class at least 24 hours in length, and a host of other terms and conditions including three to five years informal probation.

A "wet reckless," pursuant to Vehicle Code section 233103, per Vehicle Code section 23103.5, by comparison, carries a maximum jail sentence of three months, a fine approximately half that of a DUI, a 12-hour alcohol class, no driver's license restriction through the court, the possibility of a shorter period of informal probation, and a wet reckless conviction carries no mandatory sentencing enhancements if you pick up a subsequent DUI.

Also, a wet reckless may help you maintain any jobs and/or professional licenses that forbid a DUI conviction. It should be noted that a wet reckless will still be used as a prior offense for up to 10 years, the same as a DUI, if you are convicted of another alcohol related driving offense in the future, and insurance companies treat a wet reckless conviction the same as a DUI conviction.

As to the second part of your question, the best way to ask for a wet reckless is through counsel; preferably an experienced DUI attorney.

Send all questions to And remember, Better Call Glew!

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