Dry Reckless in a DUI Case

Dry reckless is a reckless driving charge with no implication of alcohol or drugs being involved.

Reckless driving is one of the most common plea bargains for a DUI charge in California. It’s a much better outcome than a DUI conviction because the penalties are substantially less, and in many cases you get to keep your driver’s license. But there are two kinds of reckless driving that can be used as a plea bargain like this:

In any ways a dry reckless charge is the holy grail of DUI plea bargains. Just like wet reckless, it comes with many advantages over a DUI conviction:

  • Potentially a shorter jail sentence or no jail at all
  • Less expensive fines and fees
  • Penalties don’t get worse if you have a previous DUI on your record
  • No mandatory license suspension

But a dry reckless has an additional advantage. Because the charge does not explicitly involve the influence of drugs or alcohol, it does not count as a DUI on your record. If you are arrested again for a future DUI, it will be treated by the courts as if it’s your first one. This is not true of wet reckless.

Prosecutors are less eager to offer dry reckless as an option. A DUI lawyer may be able to get them to offer it if your BAC was close to the limit or if the chemical test results can be disputed.

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