What is a Habitual Traffic Offender - Wisconsin Traffic Lawyer

By Carlos Gamino

In Wisconsin, habitual traffic offenders are classified as motorists who “have demonstrated indifference for the safety and welfare of others” by repeatedly committing an excessive number of driving infractions while on the road.

According to Wisconsin state law, once somebody falls into this category, the state can revoke his or her driving privileges for up to 5 years.  

Identifying Habitual Traffic Offenders

The Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles keeps a close watch on repeat offenders. If you have 12 minor violations on your record – or four major violations – you could be deemed a habitual traffic offender.

What Are Minor Traffic Violations?

A number of violations are considered “minor” in Wisconsin, including:

  • Following too closely
  • Deviating from designated lane
  • Failure to report an accident
  • Illegal passing
  • Speeding more than 15 miles-per-hour over the limit
  • Opened alcoholic beverage
  • Failure to use turn signal
  • Failure to obey sign or signal

What Are Major Violations?

The state can consider you a habitual traffic offender if you’re guilty of:

  • Vehicular homicide
  • Hit-and-run with injury or death
  • Attempting to elude police
  • Reckless driving
  • Operating under the influence of narcotics or alcohol

You don’t have to commit these violations within the state of Wisconsin in order for the DMV to consider you a habitual traffic offender.

For a comprehensive list of minor and major violations, click here.

Hearing on Revocations

Once they feel you have enough violations to consider you a habitual offender, the DMV will forward their findings to the Secretary of State, who will notify you of your revocation by mail.

If you want to contest, you may want to work with a Milwaukee traffic lawyer who can file a petition on your behalf.

Can Out-of-State Drivers Be Habitual Traffic Offenders? 

Yes. If you are from out-of-state and you commit four major traffic violations while in Wisconsin, the Secretary of State can revoke your driving privileges in the state of Wisconsin for up to 5 years.

If you’re facing a license suspension or revocation in Milwaukee or Waukesha, call us at 414-383-6700 or get in touch with us online. We may be able to help you preserve your driving privileges.