Losing one's driver's license can be an injurious punishment for a Wisconsin resident convicted of drunk driving. Many people who live in the state need driver's licenses to get to work. Without a license, most people would not be able to hold down jobs and earn the money they need to support their families.
This is why receiving a license suspension or revocation as a punishment for a DUI charge is very damaging. Not having one can impact a person's livelihood, which can in turn impact the quality of his family's life. In some cases, the state offers people convicted of drunk driving an opportunity to secure an occupational license to bridge the time between their license suspensions and reinstatements.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation establishes the rules for occupational licenses. Generally, a person who has an occupational license can only drive to and from work. He may be able to have other locations added to the license, such as church or other commitments. However, if he drives somewhere that is not on the license and is caught he can face even tougher penalties than just a license revocation.
Drivers with occupational licenses can only drive twelve hours per day. They may not drive more than 60 hours in a given week and they may not be able to drive out of state. It is up to the driver to find out if his occupational license will be honored outside of Wisconsin.
Individuals who have been convicted of drunk driving and who have suspended licenses can find out if they are eligible for occupational licenses through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation website. Not all people qualify for occupational licenses. For those who do, the rules regarding their proper use are explicit and require strict observance.
Source: Wisconsin Department of Transportation, "Occupational License," accessed on Aug. 4, 2014