Q: What is a "Wet Reckless" Driving charge in Fairfax County or other Northern Virginia jurisdictions?
"Wet Reckless" is the colloquial term given to a reckless driving charge when alcohol is involved. Commonly, it is used in situations where there is some bad driving, and some alcohol, but not enough to justify a DWI charge in Virginia.
In recent years we have seen a sharp increase in the occurrence where clients are charged with Reckless Driving for driving violations that would otherwise be simple traffic infractions, but for the presence of alcohol on their breath.
Virginia does not have a specific statutory violation known as "Wet Reckless". Instead, there is simply a provision in the penalty sections that says a Judge may require the VASAP program be required upon a conviction of reckless driving if there is evidence that alcohol was a factor. In addition to the VASAP program, the Court will usually issue a license suspension of "up to 6 months" for a wet reckless case. Depending on the facts, and depending on the driving record, the Court will usually issue a restricted license to drive to and from Work, School, ASAP classes, medical and other purposes during the period of suspension.
There is a tendency of police and prosecution to assume that the presence of alcohol is sufficient to elevate ordinary traffic violations like speeding, lane violations, and sign violations to "Reckless Driving" in Fairfax County and surrounding areas. The underlying premise is that it is merely a traffic violation if you speed or disregard a sign, but it is made more dangerous if you do so after drinking, even though the level of alcohol is below the legal limits.
McGlone Law Firm has experienced Fairfax Wet Reckless Driving Lawyers who will fight the allegation that "alcohol was a factor" in cases where the driving is not sufficient, standing alone, to justify a reckless driving conviction. Prosecutors will tend to force folks into an alcohol treatment program just because they have been "drinking and driving" even though they have not been "driving while intoxicated". This is not supported by the actual law in Virginia, but many folks have suffered such consequences.
For all of the foregoing reasons, Fairfax County Wet Reckless Lawyers Paul McGlone and Carly Jehlen recommend that you have competent local representation to handle a wet reckless case in Northern Virginia.
Paul Liam McGlone
McGlone Law Firm, P.C.
10513 Judicial Drive, Suite 201
Fairfax, Virginia 22030