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Wet Reckless and DMV Win in .13 Breath Test Case


I was able to win a client's DMV hearing and secure a reduction in DUI charges to a “wet reckless” last week despite the client's breath alcohol readings of .13. The police report indicated that the client was stopped in Hollywood for weaving in and out of his lane and because his front license plate was in his dash instead of being properly displayed at the front of the vehicle.

At the DMV hearing the client testified that the street he was stopped on was a narrow residential street with no lane markings at all. Because cars are parked down either side of the street, vehicles routinely travel in the middle of the street. In addition, the street was in poor repair and cars needed to “weave” to avoid pot holes. We produced photographs of the street in question that corroborated the client's testimony. In addition, the client testified that when he was pulled over, the officer indicated that he had been stopped for weaving and that the officer only noticed the license plate in the dash at that time and pointed it out after the stop. The DMV hearing officer accepted that it was unlikely that the officer would have been able to see the license plate in the dash following from behind at night time. The DMV suspension was set aside.

We filed a 1538.5 Motion in court challenging the legality of the stop. Before the hearing of the motion, the prosecutor offered and the client accepted a reduction to an alcohol related reckless driving commonly called a “wet reckless”.

Many people arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles plead guilty without representation and suffer a license suspension without bothering to challenge it on the assumption that if they blow over the limit there is nothing to be achieved by hiring a lawyer. Although there are no guarantees of success when you hire a lawyer, not hiring one guarantees a conviction and a DUI suspension from the DMV.