Changes to OWI Operating Privilege Revocation and Nature of Proof for Operating After Revocation Offenses
Wisconsin is continuing its trend, along with the much of the nation, when it comes to increasing penalties for OWI offenses and modifying its traffic laws. Drivers that find themselves facing an OWI or Operating After Revocation (OAR) offense in WI often learn very quickly that their privilege to drive could be restricted for months or even years into the future.
As of December 1, 2018, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation will be required to “permanently” revoke the operating privilege of any person who has committed four or more OWI offenses or two or more major specified offenses involving motor vehicles. If you are one of the drivers that receives a permanent revocation, you will not be eligible for an occupational license (a restricted license that allows driving during limited hours and for limited purposes). These drivers cannot apply for reinstatement of their privilege to drive until a ten year waiting period has passed and only if they have met certain conditions. With these stricter penalties on the horizon, it has become even more important for drivers charged with any level of OWI offense to have skilled legal representation.
Also, based upon the changes made to the OAR law, prosecutors no longer have to prove that a driver knew that his or her driving privilege was revoked to obtain a conviction for this offense.
OWI and traffic law is not only technical, but changes frequently. It is important to have an attorney that not only keeps current with these changes, but is well versed in all aspects of the OWI and traffic law process. If you have questions or concerns about an OWI or OAR issue, please feel free to contact our firm to set up a consultation.