Torrance Arrest, 0.12% BAC, Plea to Dry Reckless (VC 23103)

Our client was driving home after spending time with his girlfriend in San Pedro.  It was after midnight. While there, he had drank alcohol, but felt fine to drive back to Gardena.
In a Nutshell:  Torrance arrest off 110 freeway client's car breaks down, client has 0.12% BAC, dry reckless.
As he was heading north on the 110 Harbor Freeway, his car began to have mechanical problems, so he pulled off at the Torrance Boulevard exit.  He parked his car along Figueroa and his car “died.”  He then began calling friends and AAA to have his car towed.

Our client lost track of time.  Suddenly, a CHP officer arrived to do a “welfare check” as he could tell our client was in his car and in an area without any homes or businesses nearby.

The CHP officer claimed in his report that he “upon contacting the suspect, I immediately detected the strong odor of alcohol,” as is written in so many reports.  The CHP officer, in his zeal to arrest, quickly arrested our client and had him submit to a blood alcohol content (BAC) test by breath on the side of the road.  Our client’s BAC was measured at 0.12%.

The CHP officer, however, never saw our client driving.  He also never asked our client when he was last driving.

Nevertheless, our client was arrested and charged with DUI (Vehicle Code §§ 23152(a) and 23152(b)) in the Compton Superior Court.

When Greg Hill of our office saw this in the CHP report, he immediately brought this to the Compton DA’s attention.  Greg argued that there was zero evidence to support the 23152(a) charge, as no one saw our client driving in a manner than demonstrated substantial impairment of his ability to safely drive a vehicle.

The 23152(b) charge for driving a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher by weight was also meritless because the reading must be within three hours of driving.  Here, the CHP officer never established when our client was last driving his car.  After all, although unlikely, he could have been stranded on the side of the road for over three hours.

While it took three appearances in the Compton court to get the DA handing our client’s case to acknowledge the weakness in the report, Greg eventually prevailed on the DA.  The DA offered our client a “dry reckless,” which carried with it an 18 month period of summary probation and a $150 fine only.

With a dry reckless, a violation of Vehicle Code § 23103, there were no alcohol awareness classes, no ignition interlock device to install, no Mothers Against Drunk Driving classes, no Hospital and Morgue classes and no huge fines.  Most importantly, a “dry reckless” is not “priorable,” so if our client were to suffer a DUI conviction in four years, that DUI would be his first.  A dry reckless does not “count” as a DUI at all.

Our client was very happy.  Had he not hired counsel, he most likely would not have noticed the shortcomings in the CHP report and he would have pleaded to DUI, which would have been a very costly mistake.

For more information about reckless driving, first time DUI punishment and the ignition interlock device (IID), click on the following articles:
  1. What Punishment Do I Face for a First Time DUI?
  2. What Is Reckless Driving (Vehicle Code § 23103)?
  3. Every Question About an Ignition Interlock Device (I.I.D.) That You Had, but Were Scared to Ask
Watch our video about DUI by clicking here.
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Thank you so much for putting so much effort in this case. We really appreciate it and we are happy that all turned out well. S.A., Torrance
Greg Hill did an outstanding job on every level. He was efficient, thorough, knowledgeable, courteous, responsive & brilliant. He welcomed my input and my concerns. . . from the first conversation to the last - I always felt 'it mattered' to him. S.C., Rolling Hills Estates
Thanks again for your hard work. We want you to know that we are very appreciative of all that you have done [on our son's] behalf. With warmest regards. L.H., Torrance
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