Watson Murder Rule / Advisal
If you are arrested and convicted of a 1st offense DUI in San Diego or any other county in California, you will be advised of something very important. This is certainly something to consider, as the difference between “involuntary manslaughter” and “second-degree murder” will amount to multiple years in prison. The following also applies to “wet reckless” plea bargains. This is commonly referred to as the “Watson-Murder” Rule / Advisal.
Per Vehicle Code section 23593, the Court will provide this advisory through your attorney if you are not present at sentencing. If you are there, you will be read the following:
“You are hereby advised that being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, impairs your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Therefore, it is extremely dangerous to human life to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both. If you continue to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, and, as a result of that driving, someone is killed, you can be charged with murder.”
(b) The advisory statement may be included in a plea form, if used, or the fact that the advice was given may be specified on the record.
(c) The court shall include on the abstract of the conviction or violation submitted to the department under Section 1803 or 1816, the fact that the person has been advised as required under subdivision (a).
(Court Advisory: DUI Statement – 23593. (a) The court shall advise a person convicted of a violation of Section 23103, as specified in Section 23103.5, or a violation of Section 23152 or 23153…”