The Santa Barbara County District Attorney takes DUI crimes very seriously. As a result, the DA is often unwilling to reduce DUI charges to wet and reckless (VC 23103.5) or dry and reckless (VC 23103). However, an experienced Santa Barbara DUI Lawyer may be able to reduce your DUI charge, particularly if the blood alcohol content (BAC) is less than .10%.
What is Wet and Reckless?
Wet and reckless is a term for reducing a DUI charge to a reckless driving charge under California Vehicle Code section 23103.5.
If the prosecution agrees to reduce a DUI charge to reckless driving, the court record will reflect that alcohol and/or drugs were involved in the offense.
A wet and reckless is not a DUI, but will count as a “prior” for subsequent DUI charges.
What is Dry and Reckless?
Dry and reckless is a term for reducing a DUI charge to a reckless driving charge under California Vehicle Code section 23013.
A dry and reckless is not a “prior” for subsequent DUI charges, and the court record does not state whether alcohol or drugs were involved in the offense.
What is a “prior?”
A “prior” refers to a previous DUI conviction within 10 years. A prior increases the punishment for a DUI conviction under California Vehicle Code section 23540. Each conviction increases the mandatory jail time, fine, and required DUI class.
Although a wet and reckless is not a DUI, it is considered a “prior”. A dry and reckless conviction is not a prior.
Driving under the influence can be charged as a felony if it results in injury to anyone other than the driver. DUI can also be charged as a felony if it is the 4th DUI within 10 years, or the driver had a prior felony DUI conviction.
Defenses to DUI charges
Defenses to DUI charges include attacking errors in police procedure, arguing that the blood alcohol content was under .08%, and arguing that the driver was not under the influence. It is also a defense if the driver was involuntarily drugged or was forced to drive under duress.
The punishments for DUI vary from county to county. In Santa Barbara County, punishment for a first DUI conviction includes driver’s license suspension, fines of approximately $1,800, 3 years of unsupervised probation, and 3 month DUI school.
Russell Brown is a DUI Lawyer in Santa Barbara, California.