Differences between Wet Reckless and DUI

Differences between Wet Reckless and DUI – Driving under the Influence (DUI) is a serious charge. In some circumstances the charge can be reduced to “Wet Reckless”. While this is still a serious charge, the penalties are lower. Wet Reckless is a term that is not legally recognized in all states. However, even in states where there the offense does not technically exist, there are options within the law that provide for a similar outcome.

Reckless Driving is a charge that relates to any type of driving that is a danger to people or property. If you’re charged with Reckless Driving, and subsequent tests show that you’ve under the influence (of alcohol or drugs), the charge laid against you will be DUI. You actually can’t be arrested for Wet Reckless, but a DUI charge can be reduced to this level in some circumstances. You don’t actually have to be involved in any ‘reckless’ behavior to be charged with Wet Reckless. Being intoxicated is sufficient to be considered to be reckless.

What is Wet Reckless?

There are two primary differences between Wet Reckless and DUI charges; and the differences will have an impact on your future. The first difference is lower fines. Wet Reckless fines can be one third of the fine associated with DUI. The fine may still be up to $1,000, but that’s a lot less than a DUI fine. Secondly, there are different legal outcomes. These cover a number of areas, including license suspension, repeat offending and jail time.

Wet Reckless charges don’t involve license suspension. For DUI, there is a mandatory suspension of your license. You may still need to fight an administrative suspension at a DMV hearing. For Wet Reckless, probation terms are shorter, as is the length of any driver training course. There are differences for repeat offending. If you’ve already had a DUI conviction, and have a second offense, the second sentence will be more severe than the first. This isn’t the case with Wet Reckless – the penalties are the same for repeat offenses. While the idea of jail time is clearly unpleasant, the maximum jail time for Wet Reckless is far shorter (90 days) than for DUI. Even for a first offense, a DUI sentence can be up to six months.

While having a DUI charge downgraded to Wet Reckless will be a benefit, there are still consequences. Technically, Wet Reckless charges don’t involve license suspension. But to get your charge downgraded to Wet Reckless, you will have had to be initially charged with DUI. As a result, your license will still be automatically suspended until you demonstrate that the charge is Wet Reckless. A Wet Reckless charge will count as a prior DUI if you’re arrested a second time for DUI. And your insurance company will be likely to increase your premiums irrespective of whether you are charged with DUI or Wet Reckless. This increase can be up to $2,000 per year, for three to five years.

Actions You Can Take

If you are charged with DUI, you will need to consider how to defend the charge. A good attorney will do everything within their power to win your case for you and have the charges dismissed. But a good prosecutor will be seeking to have the law enforced. A Wet Reckless charge is a compromise, and is likely to be an outcome where there are holes in the prosecution’s case. Your lawyer will work with you to identify possible holes in the case, and exploit them. If you’re fortunate, you may have the case dismissed. But a Wet Reckless charge could be seen as being a good outcome.

Remember, being convicted of either Wet Reckless or DUI is a learning experience. If you can move from the experience with a little more wisdom and life experience, then the conviction will have benefited you. The knowledge that you could have injured or killed someone, but because of the conviction you’ve changed your behavior should be priceless. If through the conviction you’ve learned to understand the impacts that alcohol can have, and you’ve become a more responsible person, then the charge has benefited you.