OWI/DUI and Revoked Driver's License

By Andrew Mishlove on January 24, 2019


Handing an officer your driver's licenseIf you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it’s important that you speak with the lawyers of Mishlove & Stuckert, LLC. Attorneys Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert offer legal defense and practical help for people facing a DUI/OWI conviction for drunk driving. Countless people who’ve contacted our four Wisconsin legal offices have received essential counsel and guidance as they fought their arrest or attempted to have penalties reduced.

Many people charged with OWI face the likelihood of license revocation, but they are not clear on what that means. Let’s cover some of the basics of revoked driver’s licenses below.

The Difference Between Suspension and Revocation

While license suspension and license revocation both make it illegal for you to operate a vehicle, they differ in key ways.

Suspensions tend to be civil offenses without jail time, meaning that the penalties are not as harsh. Consider your license temporarily out of service if it has been suspended.

Revocations of a license are much more serious in that your license is canceled and cannot be reinstated. Revocations tend to be tied to major offenses behind the wheel, such as multiple OWIs.

License Revocation for OWI Arrest

In the state of Wisconsin, an OWI/drunk driving conviction will lead to a revoked driver’s license. First offense OWI will involve a license revocation of six to nine months; second offense OWI will involve a license revocation of 12 to 18 months; a third offense OWI will result in a license revocation lasting two to three years.

In addition to your license being revoked, you will also have to pay fines up to $2,000 and could spend up to a year in jail.

Loss of License for Refusing Sobriety Test

Regardless of an OWI conviction, the DMV will issue an administrative suspension of your driver’s license if you refuse to take a field sobriety test or a blood/breath/urine BAC test. Wisconsin law considers motorists to give implied consent for alcohol testing, and there are serious penalties for refusing such tests.

Restricted Occupational License Following OWI Conviction

If you have had your driver’s license revoked following an OWI conviction, you may still need to drive to get to school, work, and your substance abuse treatment program. You may be given a restricted occupational license (aka hardship license) so you can go to these places and attend religious services.

Keep in mind that a hardship license will restrict the times of day when you can operate a vehicle, and place a limit on how long you can drive each week. Driving outside of designated periods can lead to an arrest for driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Can My Regular Driving Privileges Be Reinstated?

Yes, though you will need to get a brand new driver’s license rather than reinstating the revoked driver’s license. Doing so will require approval from the DMV, paying civil penalties, and going through the licensing process all over again, including written and road tests. Your ability to reinstate driving privileges can vary based on your driving record and nature of any offenses that have been recorded.

How an OWI Lawyer Can Help

As you can see, license revocation can put a major strain on your daily life. By working with a skilled OWI lawyer, you can receive expert legal advice on how to fight your OWI conviction and what steps should be taken to seek a reinstated or new driver’s license. We are here to make this process as straightforward as possible.

Learn More About Drunk Driving Cases

For more information about your legal rights and options following an OWI charge, be sure to contact our team of drunk and intoxicated driving lawyers. Mishlove & Stuckert, LLC Attorneys at Law is here to help. You can reach our Milwaukee office by phone at (414) 206-6912, our Oshkosh office at (920) 212-7248, our West Bend office at (262) 239-4499, and our Waukesha office at (262) 330-1733.

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