“Wet Reckless”

DUI – “Wet Reckless” as a Plea Bargain

Have you been arrested or charged with a DUI? Your case may be one that can be negotiated down to a “wet reckless”.

Call Los Angeles wet reckless lawyer Kevin Moghtanei for a FREE CONSULTATION today.

DUI can have potentially devastating effects on one's personal and professional life. For that reason, many efforts are made to negotiate a deal for a reduced charge. While there is never a guarantee, one of the more common plea bargains in a DUI case is CVC 23103 per 23103.5, commonly referred to as a “Wet Reckless.”

“Wet reckless” is found in California vehicle code section 23103. A person cannot be arrested specifically for committing a wet reckless. Meaning, a “wet reckless” conviction only arises out of a plea bargain.

What does “wet” in “wet reckless” mean?

The term “wet” in “wet reckless” means that you were charged with an alcohol or drug-related driving offense. There is also a driving offense referred to as “dry reckless,” which generally arises in non-alcohol and non-drug related driving offenses.

 Advantages of a “Wet Reckless” vs a DUI
Shorter probation:
  • DUIs generally involve a period of probation lasting 3 to 5 years
  • A “wet reckless” generally involves a shorter period of probation lasting 1 to 2 years
Possibly lower fines:
  • A DUI has a maximum fine of $1,000
  • A “wet reckless” also has a maximum fine of $1,000 but in most cases the fines imposed will be signicantly less than in DUIs.

*Note: These fines are the base fines; penalty assessments are always added on for a “wet reckless” and DUI alike, and usually brings the amount to about 3x-4x the amount of base fine.

Shorter DUI program:
  • A first time DUI conviction will result in having to complete a 3 month, 6 month, or 9 month alcohol program.
  • A multiple DUI offender may have to complete an 18 month or even a 30 month alcohol program.
  • A “wet reckless” can oftentimes require no alcohol program, or in some cases a six week program may be required.
Priorability of an earlier DUI:
  • A DUI is priorable for a 10-year period, meaning that any subsequent DUI will result in harsher punishment. (Example A)
  • However, a person previously convicted of DUI who later on is convicted of “wet reckless” (despite occurring within 10 years of each other) may avoid priorability. (Example B)


Example A: Michael is charged and convicted of a first timeDUI in 2010. In 2016, Michael gets charged and convicted of a separate DUI. Because the 2016 DUI occurred within 10 years of the 2010 DUI, this will count as his 2nd DUI and he will be punished much more harshly.

Example B: Michael is charged and convicted of DUI in 2010. In 2016, Michael gets charged with DUI, but his lawyer is able to negotiate a “wet reckless” plea bargain. Even though the “wet reckless” occurred within 10 years of the 2010 DUI, this will likely NOT count as his 2nd DUI, and therefore Michael's punishment will be much more lenient than a 2nd DUI punishment.

Disadvantages of a Wet Reckless

Priorability of an earlier “wet reckless”:

  • Both a DUI and a “wet reckless” are priorable offenses for a 10-year period, meaning that any subsequent DUI will result in a harsher punishment.


Michael is charged and convicted of a “wet reckless” in 2010. In 2016, Michael gets charged and convicted of aDUI. Because the 2016 DUI occurred within 10 years of the 2010 “wet reckless”, this will count as his 2nd DUI and he will be punished much more harshly.

Negotiating a DUI charge down to a “wet reckless” is no easy task. There are certainly no guarantees in any cases, including DUI matters. While there are certainly pros and cons in any “wet reckless” result, I believe the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. I have a great deal of experience in handling DUIs throughout Los Angeles County, and in doing so have been able to successfully negotiate for my clients a “wet reckless”.

Contact me for a free consultation to discuss your DUI arrest and DUI charges, and see if I can get your matter reduced to a “wet reckless”.

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