Wet Reckless and DMV Win on Second DUI
I represented a client in San Fernando recently who had been arrested for his second DUI. His breath alcohol level was .09%. San Fernando has a reputation for being a fairly tough court by Los Angeles standards, but I was able to negotiate for a plea to a lesser charge of alcohol related reckless driving, commonly known as a "wet reckless". This is generally regarded as a very good disposition for a second offense as the penalties for a second offense are far more punitive. There is no mandatory jail for a wet reckless and no mandatory license suspension.
However, the client was still facing a lengthy license suspension from the DMV. The DMV proceedings in a DUI case are not affected by a dismissal of DUI charges by the court pursuant to a plea bargain. I called my toxicologist as an expert witness at the DMV hearing in Van Nuys to argue that although the client was over the legal limit at the time of his breath test, he was likely under the legal limit at the time of driving based on the evidence in the police report. This is normally a tough sell for the DMV as they typically presume that a licensee is over the legal limit at the time of driving if the blood or breath test result is over a .08%.
I received the DMV decision yesterday and it confirmed that we had won the hearing, thereby avoiding a license suspension. If you have been arrested for a second DUI and you are concerned about jail time and your privilege to drive, please contact us for a free case evaluation.