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The Difference Between DUI & Wet Reckless in Ohio


A DUI charge in Ohio can result in severe penalties. Not only could you serve time in jail, pay expensive fines and get your driver’s licenses wet and reckless suspended, but you could have a DUI on your permanent record.

What is a Wet Reckless Charge?

A wet and reckless is not a DUI. Instead, if you are charged with a DUI, it is possible to plea bargain for a lesser charge of “wet reckless.” This means a DUI is reduced to a reckless driving charge that specifically involves alcohol. 

Commonly, a wet reckless charge is offered when a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level is near .08% or when there are weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case that make it challenging to obtain a DUI conviction. A wet reckless plea agreement can keep you out of jail, reduce the fines you are required to pay, and even possible to maintain your driving privileges.

Your first wet reckless offense is considered a minor misdemeanor.

What are the Consequences of a Wet Reckless Charge?

Below is an overview of the consequences associated with a wet reckless charge. These penalties are substantially less serious than a DUI conviction.

  • First-time traffic offense – When a driver has had no prior traffic convictions, a wet reckless charge is considered a minor misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $100. No jail time is required.
  • One previous traffic conviction – If a driver has been convicted of one traffic offense within the past year, a wet reckless charge is classified as a fourth-degree misdemeanor. This type of misdemeanor results in a jail sentence of up to 30 days and a maximum fine of $250.
  • Two previous traffic convictions – If a driver has two prior traffic convictions within the past year, wet reckless is a third-degree misdemeanor. Convicted drivers could a jail sentence of up to 60 days and a maximum fine of $500.

Whether it’s a first-time or third-time wet reckless, these penalties are less serious than a DUI conviction. Keep in mind, a wet reckless conviction will be treated as a first offense in you are arrested for a DUI a second time. Additionally, the penalties of a DUI conviction following a wet reckless plea deal will be the same as a second DUI offense.

Arrested for DUI? Call Bridges, Jillisky, Weller & Gullifer, LLC.

If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Ohio, our Union County criminal defense attorney at Bridges, Jillisky, Weller & Gullifer, LLC will do whatever it takes to help you get your entire case dismissed or your charges significantly reduced. Do not hesitate to get experienced legal counsel on your side immediately.

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