Occupational Licenses and Drunk Driving Laws

One significant consequence of a drunk driving conviction is having one's driver's license suspended or revoked. A suspension or revocation can cause a person to lose his or her driving privileges, and as has been previously discussed on this blog, can seriously impact that individual's ability to hold down a job. In some situations, a driver convicted of drunk driving may secure an occupational license during the time period relevant to his suspension or revocation, so that he may continue to drive himself to and from work.

Occupational licenses do not provide drivers with unfettered driving rights. Such licenses are often subject to restrictions as codified in the Wisconsin Statutes. For example, pursuant to Wisconsin law, an occupational license must state the hours during which a license holder may operate a motor vehicle. It must also state how many hours per week the individual may drive while using the license. Occupational licenses are generally only available for specific routes that can include paths to and from a person's work and home as well as routes to his or her place of worship.

Holders of occupational licenses must also pay fees in order to acquire limited driving privileges. A driver may also have to install and use an ignition interlock device in his or her vehicle in order to secure an occupational license during a period of license suspension or revocation. The mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices applies generally when a driver has multiple drunk driving convictions.

Occupational licenses are subject to many restrictions. Although they may allow a person to maintain his or her work commitments, they do not give drivers the same rights and privileges that they have with their regular driver's licenses. Attorneys who practice DUI defense may provide interested parties with more information on the restrictions applicable to occupational licenses in Wisconsin.