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

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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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As a Santa Ana DUI Lawyer, I can say that the main differences between a DUI and a wet reckless conviction are laid out perfectly clear. I would caution anyone who reads this article who is facing a DUI in Orange County to pay particular close attention to the fact that in the case of a second DUI charge the wet reckless will definitely be treated as if it was a 1st offense DUI.

With that being said, I will also agree that the absolute best way to ask for a wet reckless is to... have your Orange County DUI lawyer ask for you.


Melissa you are too quick to point the finger. You haven't a slightest clue about this questionnaire's situation. So try not to judge so harshly in the future.

Melissa Podany
Melissa Podany

This post is absolutely infuriating. How SELFISH can you be?! Not only are you putting the lives of everyone else on the road in danger, but when you get caught, you are bold enough to write into a public forum in search of a smaller penalty? I think drunk drivers, especially those with NO SHAME, should be penalized to the fullest extent. Allowing them to slip by with a lesser charge only encourages them to try it again. On behalf of myself, my young children in the car, and every family that has lost someone to a drunk driver’s irresponsibility, think about someone other than yourself for a minute, get a freaking clue.

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