Delaney Simchuk, Car Insurance Writer
No, a “wet reckless” is not the same as a DUI. Some drivers who have been charged with a DUI are given the option of pleading guilty to a “wet reckless” instead, which carries reduced penalties compared to driving under the influence. A “wet reckless” will be marked on your driving record as a conviction for reckless driving with a note indicating the case involved alcohol or drugs.
A driver may be offered a “wet reckless” if it was their first DUI, they have no criminal record, or they had a low blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A driver can never be charged with a “wet reckless” violation as it is a plea bargain that is only offered to some drivers after being charged with a DUI.
How a Wet Reckless Is Less Severe Than a DUI
- Reduced jail time. If you live in a state that has jail time for DUI offenders, receiving a “wet reckless” instead will reduce your jail time. The maximum jail sentence for a “wet reckless” is 90 days, depending on your state.
- No mandatory license suspension. All but six states automatically suspend the license of someone charged with a DUI, but there is typically no mandatory license suspension or revocation for a “wet reckless.”
- No mandatory car equipment. Most states require drivers with a DUI to have an ignition interlock device in their car for anywhere from 3 months to 3 years after the violation, depending on your state. This device is not required for a “wet reckless” if it was a first offense.
To learn more, check out WalletHub’s guide to the strictest and most lenient states on DUI, as well as our picks for the cheapest car insurance after a DUI.
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