The issue of being charged with what’s known as “wet reckless” might be something of a mystery to many people who aren’t familiar with the term, which relates to a DUI. In short, it’s simply a situation where an individual is not legally drunk (i.e. having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more), but has close to that amount in their system and is otherwise impaired, or is stopped for driving recklessly, or both.
Why Wet Reckless is Different from DUI
In addition, the consequences of being convicted of wet reckless bring with them the same punishments as a regular DUI would. The major benefit in attempting this strategy is that the individual’s driving record won’t be stigmatized by having a DUI attached to it.
That changes, however, if the person is convicted on a subsequent DUI charge, since what had been a wet reckless conviction immediately becomes the person’s first DUI in the eyes of the law.
New York State Law
In the state of New York, those individuals who are arrested for impaired driving (under .08 BAC), might be able to plead to a lesser charge of wet reckless. One important factor to remember with respect to New York is that fact that the state is very strict on the use of plea bargains under these circumstances.
For example, because New York state law prohibits plea bargaining of a DUI (a BAC of .08 or more) down to wet reckless, those individuals who are convicted of the DUI are not eligible. This includes not only the more severe forms of the charge, but the standard one as well.
The prosecutor in the specific case has the power to make the final decision as to whether an impaired driver is allowed to have the specific charge reduced against them. A number of different factors will likely go into his final decision, including how high the BAC of the individual was, whether extenuating circumstances might be involved (prescription medication, etc.) and the age of the individual.
Also factoring in here is the previous driving record of the person charged. If they’ve generally been considered good drivers in the past, with only a few minor driving violations, or if this is the first time they’ve been in this type of situation, the prosecutor may be more inclined to offer the wet reckless plea bargain.
Something to Consider
Due to the nature of having to present a solid case for the plea bargain, a DUI lawyer familiar with the ins and outs of New York State law and the justice system overall can be invaluable. Their experience in this matter is something that may end up being the difference between avoiding a full-fledged DUI.