What is a Watson Advisement?

Person signing a document with someone pointing at where to sign

Mistakes happen — it’s a rule of nature and no one is perfect as much as they try to be. This can apply to many actions, including a driver having too much to drink before getting behind the wheel.

A study from California’s Department of Motor Vehicles found that more than 120,000 drivers in the state are charged with driving under the influence each year. For those convicted of a DUI for the first time, a judge will also usually require the driver to sign what’s known as a Watson Advisement.

A Watson Advisement is a legal document that states the consequences of driving under the influence and steps individuals can take to avoid driving under the influence again. A driver could attempt not to sign a Watson Advisement but that could lead to additional charges or penalties.

Origins of the Advisement

The Watson Advisement came from the 1981 California Supreme Court case, People v. Watson. The result was the court concluding that a driver could be charged with murder, even though they had no intention of killing someone if the driver was impaired behind the wheel. This is also known as implied malice.

Implications of Signing a Watson Advisement

A signed Watson Advisement is a legal record indicating a driver acknowledges the dangers of driving under the influence poses to themselves and others. That means that if a driver has previously signed a Watson Advisement and is later involved in an incident while driving under the influence, the charges are typically much more severe.

When a driver previously signed a Watson Advisement, that driver can not later claim that they did not understand the implications of driving under the influence should they be involved in a similar situation.

Were You Charged with a DUI?

A DUI charge does not necessarily mean you will be convicted of that offense. The first-time DUI attorneys at The Law Offices of Kirk Tarman & Associates are here to review your case and present you with the best possible outcomes. Contact our dedicated team, day or night, so we can start working with you. (909) 658-7341

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