The Problem with Multiple Drunk Driving Convictions in Indiana
In the Hoosier State, OWI convictions never disappear but rather remain on one’s record permanently ([dcl=6682]). This means that a second conviction even years down the road is going to lead to more severe consequences. Add in a third, and the penalties will become draconian. There is some leeway given, however, for someone who stays out of trouble for five years between incidents. Yet this only means that the escalation in punishment is not as steep as it would be if it had happened in a shorter time frame.
Despite all of this, Indiana has followed the lead of numerous other states and started offering a sort of drunk driving escape hatch for those who have not caused any significant damage to life or property in the course of their escapade. Although they are not statutorily referred to as such, they are known by the new generic term of “wet reckless.” The purpose of a wet reckless plea is to offer one last chance to those who seem unlikely to become repeat offenders or who may be significantly impacted by having an OWI appear on their record.
Simply put, a wet reckless is a plea to the crime of reckless driving and agreeing to various alcohol-related interventions on top of the normal penalties for reckless driving. Given the proliferation of such detours on the road to OWI, it is clear that many states are feeling the negative impacts of too-severe enforcement of the mandatory penalties imposed by DUI laws nationwide. While they are little known at the moment, it is clear that the term “wet reckless” will soon become common knowledge nationwide, and will be a powerful defense in the toolbox of top [dcl=6682].