Q: What does “wet reckless” mean, and what does it have to do with my DUI charge?

A: You won't find the phrase “wet reckless” inscribed in any of Virginia's government documents. Rather, this is the informal name given to a driving violation that doesn't quite rise to the standard of a DUI (driving under the influence). There are two ways in which you might find yourself charged with a “wet reckless”: if an officer pulls you over, and senses that you're simply an inexperienced driver who's had a single drink, he or she may choose to cite you on this charge. Alternatively, “wet reckless” gives defense lawyers something to plead their clients down to when they're accused of a first-time DUI; otherwise exemplary drivers whose blood-alcohol readings are inconclusive can plead guilty to this charge instead of a full DUI.

However, just because “wet reckless” is a lesser charge than a DUI doesn't mean that the perpetrator will escape scott-free. The sentencing judge can still suspend your license (usually for no more than six months, compared to the mandatory year for a first-time DUI conviction), impose a stiff fine, and he may also require you to take driving classes or attend an alcohol support group. It's a worthwhile bargain, since a conviction for “wet reckless” weighs less heavily on your permanent records than a DUI. Questions? Call the experienced defense attorneys at Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC for a free consultation!