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California Law

Santa Cruz, CA
Wet-Reckless Arrest

What Happens? What To Do
(This page is not intended for small screens.)
by Vaughn Aubuchon

Here is the partial story of my Wet-Reckless arrest in Santa Cruz, California, in April 2010. Some advice is offered to those who are arrested for the same offense.


   Santa Cruz DUI Info
   and Opinion

    For Those Charged with
    A "
Wet Reckless"



Santa Cruz Sentinel
August 5, 2010

"(Ryan Murphy, DUI attorney) said something as small as one swerve can prompt a DUI car stop by police. From there, the margin of error with breath tests and blood tests can be as much as 10 to 20 percent, a factor that can lead to a DUI arrest being thrown out in court, Murphy said."


Well, maybe, if Ryan is your attorney. However, --->

My Case

1. Most DUI attorneys are simply harvesters of low-hanging fruit.
None really want to go to trial. Why is this? "Why bother. It's too hard.
You need a ladder, and you have to climb way up."
"When business is good, just move from tree to tree".

2. What the Attorneys Think, is - "If you are charged, you are surely guilty. No officer will arrest you, unless you are guilty. Seen it 100 times." Oh, yeah? How about Fake California DUIs.

3. It DOESN'T MATTER that the police lied - about 1 fact, or 10 facts.
It DOESN'T MATTER that there was no field test video, so
It DOESN'T MATTER if the officer made things up.
It DOESN'T MATTER if they did not follow procedure.
It DOESN'T MATTER if there was NO Trombetta advisement.
It DOESN'T MATTER if your BrAC was borderline.
It DOESN'T MATTER if there were medication issues.
It DOESN'T MATTER if the evidence breathalyzer hasn't been calibrated.
It DOESN'T MATTER if the evidence breathalyzer is OLD, questionable technology.
It DOESN'T MATTER if it was your first offense, ever.
It DOESN'T MATTER if it was the deputy's first arrest, ever.

It DOESN'T MATTER if you were pulled over, when you DID NOTHING to give the officer probable cause. He found an excuse. He can ALWAYS find an excuse.
Other significant factors DON'T MATTER EITHER.
NOTHING MATTERS. You are going down.

4. Want a Second Opinion? Forget about it.
As soon as you call attorney #2, he calls attorney #1. Attorney #1 says, "Yeah, he is screwed." All these guys know each other, and talk to each other all the time, as well as the prosecutors. It is one big cluster club, unless you bring in someone from out of town - FAR out of town. Preferably Gerry Spence.

5. So why get an attorney? Hand-holding. Period. You don't know the ropes, and you are afraid. You need to be led along the path. You need reassurance. Attorneys know this, and use it to their advantage.
However, you gain nothing. You pay $2,500 for the attorney to go into court, and say 25 words.
The outcome is identical, if you represent yourself. If you are honest and open, the judge walks you through the procedure, with the same result. Everything you need to know is online. The ONLY thing that you must know - You MUST contact the California DMV within 10 days of your arrest.

6. If you were charged with 0.09% BrAC (like I was), a 20% error may mean that your actual BrAC was only 0.75% - LEGAL! Your attorney will NOT challenge this, even with precedents.
Partition Ratio variation in the general population has not been sufficiently investigated and challenged. Official individual Partition Ratio measurement testing should be easily available locally, and admissable in court.. Reliance upon ill-conceived pseudo-science "concrete" assumptions based upon flaky mechanical devices is a pretty shaky system for establishing guilt.

California DUI School

Superior Court Requirements
for Probation

DMV Requirements
to Get Your License Back

Wet Reckless
First Offense

8-Week Alcohol School: This is the first level of education that is offered. It is only offered to those convicted of a charge that is less than a DUI, such as a "wet reckless" (also known as an alcohol related reckless driving). BEWARE: completing the 12-hour alcohol program may not satisfy the DMV. That is just one reason why it is critical that you consult with a lawyer in your area that concentrates on DUI defense.

12-WEEK Alcohol School: This is the standard first-offender alcohol education program. It requires attendance at one three-hour session, for 12 weeks, or approximately 36 hours of coursework. It may be possible to get a restricted driver's license to allow for driving to and from the program.
PAY $125 re-issuance fee
FILE a financial responsibility form

DUI - First Offense

12-WEEK Alcohol School: This is the standard first-offender alcohol education program. It requires attendance at one three-hour session, for 12 weeks, or approximately 36 hours of coursework. It may be possible to get a restricted driver's license to allow for driving to and from the program.


DUI - Second Offense

18-Month Alcohol School: This is the standard program in California for second-offenders. (Note that in California, the washout period for prior convictions is seven years, from offense date to offense date.) The program is divided into several phases, and typically begins with mandatory attendance at weekly sessions, gradually changing to every other week.


DUI - Third or More Offense

30-Month Alcohol School: This is a special program for multiple offenders, offered in very specialized circumstances for certain multiple offenders.



Just TRY
to Figure This Out!

WHAT is the point of Janus telling wet-reckless convicts that they need to sign up for a 12-Week class, when in fact, I only needed sign up for an 8-WEEK class to get my license back?
Some people at Janus don't know what is going on.
Some convicts must attend the 8-week school, BUT
some convicts must attend the 12-week school.

Although I engaged a lawyer, I was never informed of this distinction.
And the DUI school? Right up there on the wall - Wet-Reckless = 8 weeks.
That's what I signed up for, and that is what they accepted, and that is what I completed.

This subject is unbelievably unrepresented, misrepresented and therefore, misunderstood. My lawyer didn't know it, the DUI school didn't know it, and my instructor didn't know it. Who the he|| is supposed to know it?
1-800-DUILAWS knows it.

Can't the court just make a cheat sheet like this one? NO! Because, it DEPENDS.
This situation reminds me of the times when I had 2 bosses. You are going to fail, by definition, because the 2 don't talk to each other. Just what we have here. Which one is the boss? Neither. They are BOTH the boss. "Dance, Dance!", you sum#%(&$%@#.

Update 9-29-10

I got my license back. I did NOT have to take the 12-week alcohol school.
I just had to sit on my butt for 2 hours at the Capitola DMV.
I suggest that NOBODY ON THE PLANET can tell you whether or not you must take the 12-week course. Some do, some do not. How do you know which is which? Email me when you find out. It is based upon whim, but whose whim? I will never know, since my lawyer CANCELLED my DMV hearing. Apparently, he didn't believe it was necessary. EDIT - It turns out he was right.

NOBODY is going to tell you when you can get your license back. I COULD have gotten my license back 6 days ago, but nobody told me that. I was wondering why my license had not arrived, since my suspension period was over, so I called my Janus Drunk Driving School. They said, "You probably have to take the 12-week class." Oh, great. More disinformation. "You MUST call a number in Sacramento to find out your status."

I called 1-916-657-6525. Busy. I called again. Busy.
Busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, busy.
I got through! "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You will now be transferred to another number."

I called again. Busy. Again. Busy.
Finally, I got through again. This time, I got through on the second number. Nicole told me, "Go down to your local DMV, pay $125, and they will give you your license."
Great. Sacramento knows. Nobody else knows Jack.

Update 2-2-2011
Arrest Warrant

I received a notice in the mail that there is a warrant out for my arrest.
I complied with all the court requirements.
I paid my fine in full to the court July 8, 2010.
I completed the 8-week traffic school as specified by Janus, in the shortest possible time frame.
I confirmed that Janus informed the court that I completed the required course work.
(This was NOT true! - They don't do it, as a matter of course, for wet-reckless cases!)
The DMV reissued my license in September 2010.

So, what was the problem?
I went to court this morning. My attorney did not show up. We were NOT on the calendar, as I was told. Luckily, I ran into my old attorney, and he straightened me out in a jiffy. "Just go to the window in Room 220, and ask the person behind the counter." She fixed me right up. The Janus driving school FAILED to notify the court of my completion, EVEN THOUGH THEY SAID THAT THEY HAD. The court, for some reason, was expecting a completion statement from another school called Alto. I didn't go to Alto, I went to Janus. She quashed the warrant, and put me on the calendar in for Feb. 16th.

I then went STRAIGHT to Janus on 7th Avenue, and the new manager there treated me great. She immediately gave me 2 copies of my completion certificate, which I will take into court in 2 weeks. Thank you, Maria. It is NOT their policy to routinely send completion certificates to the court - broken system.
THAT'S what this was all about - a confused court system.

Update 2-16-2011
Court Appearance

I went to Dept. 2, and presented Superior Court Judge John Gallagher with my Letter of Completion from Janus, and he dismissed my case forthwith. Gallagher gets my vote!

My Advice

After YOU finish your DUI school, get a Letter of Completion from them BEFORE you leave. Hand carry it it down to the courthouse to Room 220, and give it to the clerk. This is the ONLY way that you can be sure that a warrant will not be issued for your arrest!!!

Summary of
Wet-Reckless Costs

Court Fine
Traffic School
DMV License Reissue
Insurance increase
Additional screwing around

Total =

$     25
$ 2,500
$ 1,381
$   293
$   125
$   300 (per year)
$     30
$   100  

$ 4,754


225 - 550


Santa Cruz
Law Enforcement Links




S, C. County Sheriff's Department

Sheriff Search Page (gone)

Online Services (gone)


831-454-2420 - Main

831-454-2177 - Women's

Jail Inmate Locator

Daily Arrest Logs (last 10 days only)

Courthouse Location
Santa Cruz County Superior Court
701 Ocean Street (at Water St.)
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
The Santa Cruz Court does NOT provide
online criminal case information, or
an online criminal calendar.

From the TV show Campus PD 2012 - S04/ Ep10
From the trailer - "A possible DUI stop unfolds."
The subject was told
- that he smelled of alcohol,
- that he had failed ALL the drunk tests,
- that he was drunk, and
- that he was going to jail.

Then, he was given a Breathalyzer test.
The producers blurred out the Breathalyzer result.
Yeah, don't ever show any exculpatory evidence, you idiots.
The Breathalyzer result was 0.00. NO ALCOHOL WAS DETECTED.
One cop said, "Maybe the smell was coming from the car."

LET THIS BE A LESSON to you - Once the cops smell alcohol, YOU ARE GUILTY.
But it is pretty embarrassing, when ZERO ALCOHOL is detected.
These arrogant, cocksure cops had to let him go.
Bogus tests. Bogus assumptions. Bogus case. Bogus cops.
(added May 11, 2012)


Breathalyzer Summary

S80 Breathalyzer Review

Santa Cruz, CA Criminal Defense Attorneys

Santa Cruz, CA Superior Court Citizen's Guide

Santa Cruz, CA Wet-Reckless Arrest

This webpage is not associated with any Santa Cruz, CA government organization.
I created this page to inform others about what they can expect, if they are arrested for Wet-Reckless in Santa Cruz, CA.
Although the author has tried to be as accurate as possible, errors are possible.
All reported errors will be corrected as soon as verified.


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Tags: santa cruz wet-reckless, dui school,
alcohol school, dmv, california license

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This Santa Cruz Wet-Reckless Arrest summary
guide was last updated on 2019-09-12.