As in other states, receiving a conviction for operating a vehicle while intoxicated in Wisconsin can come with steep penalties. Even a first OWI may lead to revocation of your license for half a year or more, depending on the specific circumstances.
However, state law also recognizes that losing your driving privileges completely may create undue hardship. Whether you need to drive for work, school or to care for your children or other loved ones, you may be able to continue driving after an OWI conviction by applying for a restricted license.
1. What types of trips can you make with a restricted license?
A restricted, or occupational, license may only allow you to drive to and from certain specific locations. In addition to traveling for your job, attending school or visiting your place of worship, a restricted license may allow you to travel for homemaker duties like grocery shopping, transporting children and keeping medical appointments.
2. How else are occupational licenses limited?
An occupational license may also limit how many hours you can drive each day, how many hours you can drive each week, and which Wisconsin counties or other states you can legally drive in.
3. What are the eligibility requirements?
To be eligible for an occupational license, you may have to show that you had a valid Wisconsin license before the date of your OWI and that you have not had other issues with your license within the past year. Additionally, you may face a waiting period if you have had prior OWI offenses.
If you are facing OWI charges, how you act today may impact both your immediate future and your longer-term opportunities. Know that you may be able to protect your driving privileges and seek reinstatement by pursuing strong legal support.