Wisconsin law enforcement officials at the state and county levels recently released a report regarding the incidence of traffic violations throughout the state. Calculated from 2018 data, the report identifies the most common traffic violations in the state and how often each occurs. The report identified some surprising trends, some of which are encouraging while others are alarming.

Operating while intoxicated

The report demonstrates that OWI offenses are on the decline in Wisconsin. With 24,624 OWI convictions statewide in 2018, driving while intoxicated dropped out of the top 10 list of traffic violations to occupy the spot at number 11. While OWI continues to be a problem, the decline has earned Wisconsin “low-range” status for drunken driving from the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration for the first time.


Speeding is one of the most widespread traffic violations in the state of Wisconsin. Speeding one to 10 mph over the limit was the sixth most common violation in the state, while driving 20 mph or more over the speed limit occupied the number-eight spot. However, with 86,229 convictions in 2018, the number-one most common traffic violation in Wisconsin was speeding between 11 and 19 mph over the speed limit.

Lack of valid documents

Five out of the top 10 Wisconsin traffic violations in 2018 related to not having the documentation, i.e., license, registration and proof of insurance, required to operate a motor vehicle. Operating without a driver’s license was the number-nine violation with 28,959 convictions, while 79,453 convictions for operating while suspended made it the second most common violation. There were over 100,000 convictions for either having no proof of auto insurance or failing to carry it at all, placing each violation at number three and number five on the top 10 list, respectively. Driving an unregistered vehicle was the seventh most common violation with nearly 40,000 convictions.

At tenth place, there were 25,071 convictions in 2018 for failing to obey a traffic signal or sign.