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What is an occupational license in Wisconsin?

We often discuss ways of fighting drunk driving charges in the state of Wisconsin; however, if it is too late and you have already been convicted with an OWI and you have had your driver's license suspended as a result, you are probably wondering how you are going to get to get around, especially to and from work.

The good news that it is possible to apply for an occupational license in Wisconsin so that you can drive to and from work, school and other important destinations. An occupational license is also known as a restricted driver’s license because you are limited as to where and when you can drive. 

Your license will dictate where you are able to drive -- such as only to and from work, school and/or church -- and the time of day you can drive these places.  It does not allow you to drive recreationally or offer you the freedom of a regular driver’s license, but for many it is crucial in order to carry on with their lives.

If the conviction was your first drunk driving offense, you should be able to apply for an occupational license after your conviction.

If you have had more than one OWI convictions, you may be required to install something called an ignition interlock device in your vehicle before applying for an occupational license. A mandatory waiting period may also apply before you are eligible for an occupational license.

Applying for and obtaining an occupational license is dependent on your ability to convince the court that you are prepared to drive safely. You might also be required to attend alcohol counseling, go to “DUI school” or install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle in order to prove that you will drive responsibly.

If you lost your license because of an OWI conviction and need to be able to drive to school or work, our firm can help you apply for an occupational license so that your situation doesn’t go from bad to worse.

Note: Being convicted of two or more drunk driving offenses within five years at any point in your lifetime means that you will not be eligible for an occupational license under federal law. 

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