Reckless Driving (Dry Reckless) - Vehicle Code § 23103


Vehicle Code § 23103– Reckless Driving (“Dry Reckless”)

 What counts as a violation of Vehicle Code § 23103?

Vehicle Code § 23103 penalizes reckless driving. 

Vehicle Code § 23103(a) makes it a crime for a person to drive a vehicle upon a highway in a “willful or wanton” disregard for the safety of persons or property.  This includes driving recklessly on a public roadway or street.

Additionally, Vehicle Code § 23103(b) also makes it a crime for a person to drive recklessly in an off-street parking facility, as defined in Vehicle Code § 12500(c).

Under Vehicle Code § 12500(c), “off-street parking facility” means any off-street facility held open for use by the public for parking vehicles. This includes any publicly owned facilities for off-street parking, and privately owned facilities for off-street parking where no fee is charged for the privilege to park and which are held open for the common public use of retail customers.

What is the punishment for a violation of Vehicle Code § 23103?

A violation under Vehicle Code § 23103 is a misdemeanor offense punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than five days nor more than 90 days or by a fine of not less than one hundred forty-five dollars ($145) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, except as provided in Vehicle Code § 23104 or Vehicle Code § 23105.

Do I need to hire an attorney if I was pulled over for a violation of Vehicle Code § 23103?

A violation of Vehicle Code § 23103 carries serious consequences including two (2) DMV points that can significantly increase your car insurance premium. Hiring an experienced attorney who will go to court for you can help you to avoid these consequences. 

What happens if I get a “DMV point”?

DMV points can lead to a negligent operator license suspension if a driver incurs the following:

  • 4 points in 12 months;
  • 6 points in 24 months; or
  • 8 points in 36 months. 

What are the defenses to a violation of Vehicle Code § 23103?

  1. You were driving on private property
  2. You were not driving “recklessly”
  3. Necessity