San Diego DUI Law Center

How can you get a Wet Reckless when only wet?

California Highway Patrol (CHP) DUI Officers

This particular California Highway Patrolman (CHP) happens to be one of their DUI officers. CHP DUI officers are highly trained. They begin their training at the Academy in Sacramento. There they learn to operate breath tests, talk to jurors and gather facts necessary to prove the elements of the offenses. Every year, MADD gives out an Award to the officer with most DUI arrests. This gives a lot of incentive for CHP officers to arrest. On top of receiving an award, the CHP officer  also receives increased pay and ranking.


Client Story

After enjoying a handful of Ballast Point Sculpin beers after work, a young heavy equipment technician was arrested just before midnight in San Diego County. After a mysterious loss of oil pressure, that led to breaking down on the right shoulder of the I-8 freeway, a California Highway Patrol officer pulled up to make sure everything was okay.

The young man is explaining to the officer that his car just broke down and he’s waiting for a friend. When doing so, the officer smells alcohol and notices his eyes are extremely red & watery.

Examining the vehicle, the officer felt that the car was still warm. Following protocol, the CHP got the young man to admit driving. However, the young technician still needed to answer questions that establish driving.

Upset at his vehicle for causing the Johnny Law contact, the young man decided to give the field sobriety tests a go.


Field Sobriety Tests
  • “Nystagmus” Test – He revealed a lack of eyes tracking smoothly. The nystagmus present in both eyes at the extremes of his periphery (maximum deviation) with onset prior to 45 degrees in both eyes.
  • One Leg Stand Test – The young man put his foot down 4 times. He then counted to 1029 at 30 seconds while CHP DUI officer timed him.
  • Romberg – While displaying eye lid tremors, he also opened his eyes at only 18 seconds although he thought 30 seconds had passed.


Breath Test
  • Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) Test– Agreed to blow the optional roadside FST hand-held LifeLock breath test gadget: .112% and .110 %. Arrested.
  • Big Breath Test first at CHP Office – .095% and .097%. Off to San Diego County Jail for DUI booking without incident.


Defending the DUI

Reasonably, the DDA Prosecutor pushed for DUI charges. However, the defense attorney suggested the estimated uncertainty of measurement for the Breath Test machine was at such a percentage, that the numbers were subject to error.

The client took San Diego DUI lawyer tips for High BAC or Prior DUI cases. With this, he wrote a formal letter explaining how he was with his close family at a restaurant to discuss important, private family plans. This was when he proceeded to drive in control and cautiously but broke down. The young technician acknowledged that he should not have driven after having consumed any amount of alcohol. He also emphasizes that he has not been drinking and driving since the DUI arrest and has felt extreme disappointed in himself since. The letter then goes on to explain how he overcame a tough medical condition when he was a child and felt he could be better since he overcame this, too. He concludes by explaining how he did community volunteering, cleaned property, and other neighborly services. He believes he has learned his lesson.



Impressed by the letter, the client’s DUI lawyer managed to establish no proof of bad driving. He successfully got the DUI prosecuting attorney to drop both the DUI and driving with .08% in exchange for reckless driving, alcohol-related, a reduced fine and other minimal terms. The client was still able to legally drive to and from work, during work and to and from minimum DUI-type alcohol programs.


How can you get a wet reckless when only wet? While this may have seemed like a rhetorical question at first, however, this previous client’s scenario goes to show how easy it really is.




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