Drunk Driving Convictions May Lead to Habitual Offender Status

This Wisconsin DUI defense legal blog has spent several post entries discussing the consequences of drunk driving convictions. In Wisconsin, a driver can lose his license under a suspension or revocation if he is convicted of offenses related to operating a vehicle with drugs or alcohol in his system. If a driver incurs multiple convictions for DUI or other drunk driving offenses, he could find himself not only without a license but also labeled as a habitual offender.

The penalties associated with being labeled a habitual offender are very serious. Habitual offenders lose their driving privileges for five years. A person can be deemed a habitual offender if he has twelve or more moving violations on his record in a five year period, or four or more major violations on his record in a five year period. Drunk driving convictions are considered major violations for the purposes of determining habitual traffic offenders.

Where a person incurs a traffic or major violation does not impact if it will count toward the habitual offender designation. Out-of-state convictions will apply along with any convictions incurred within Wisconsin's borders. In some circumstances a habitual offender may be able to secure an occupational license, but this privilege is not even a possibility until at least two years after the person's license is revoked.

Losing one's driver's license is a big deal. While a single drunk driving conviction may result in a person losing his license for a relatively short period of time, the ramifications for incurring multiple drunk driving convictions on one's record can be very serious. Individuals who are facing habitual offender status have an interest in keeping convictions off of their driving records. Should they find themselves facing DUI or other alcohol-related driving charges, they may decide to defend themselves in court with the assistance of an experienced DUI defense counsel.