What is an occupational license?

License suspension is a common penalty when a person is convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI). License suspension prevents a person from lawfully operating a motor vehicle for a specific period of time, which can be months or even years depending on the nature of the offense. Some people are provided an occupational license, which provides limited driving privileges during the suspension period.

Understanding the rules and guidelines surrounding occupational licenses is a must. If you fail to obey these rules, your total driving privileges may be revoked. Your penalties may also be increased. Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you are adhering to pertinent laws.

Where you are allowed to drive to with an occupational license

Driving to work and school is permitted when you have an occupational license. You are also allowed to drive to medical appointments, in addition to taking family members to their appointments if necessary. Trips to the grocery store, gas station, and pharmacy are also allowed, as they are considered essential. If you are not sure whether a trip is allowed, it is best to seek clarification.

When you are allowed to drive

There is also a limit on how many hours you can drive with an occupational license. On a daily basis, your total driving time should not be greater than 12 hours. During the week, drivers are not allowed to exceed 60 hours, even when driving to approved destinations.

Exceptions to occupational licenses

Occupational licenses cannot be used to operate commercial vehicles during the suspension period. They also cannot be used for recreational pursuits. Any trip deemed unnecessary could be in violation of suspension laws. This includes trips to the mall, attending a sporting event, or even visiting loved ones.