Can I Get a Wisconsin Occupational License After a Conviction?

Readers of this Wisconsin DUI defense blog may be aware that one of the potential consequences of a DUI or drunk driving conviction is the loss of the driver's license. Losing one's driver's license can impose a great deal of hardship upon a person who needs driving privileges to get to or to do a job. In some cases, a person who loses his license due to a drunk driving incident may be able to obtain a provisional license that allows him to drive in limited circumstances.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, some individuals who suffer alcohol-related driving convictions and who lose their licenses are able to apply for occupational licenses. Sometimes called hardship licenses because they allow individuals to avoid the hardship of losing a job due to a drunk driving conviction, occupational licenses allow individuals to operate their vehicles to and from limited locations and only during certain times of the day.

For example, a person may receive an occupational license that allows him to drive to and from work and that permits him to drive to and from the house of worship where he practices his faith. In such circumstances a person with such a license could not use the license to drive to a restaurant; using a restricted occupational license for an impermissible purpose could result in greater sanctions against the individual.

Not everyone who has had a license suspended is eligible for a restricted occupational license. Attorneys who work in the DUI defense field can advise their clients as to whether such licenses may be available to them. Losing a license is only one of the consequences a person may face if he is convicted of drunk driving and such individuals should not assume that they will be granted restricted licenses if they apply for them.