What you need to know about ALR hearings
If you are arrested for DWI, the Texas Department of Public Safety will suspend your driving privileges within 15 days unless you request an administrative license revocation hearing (ALR hearing). What many people charged with DWI don't realize is that a license suspension is automatic unless they request a hearing, in writing, to challenge the suspension.
If a hearing is not requested by the 15-day deadline, the suspension will automatically begin on the 41st day after the Department of Public Safety received notice. If a hearing is requested, no action will be taken regarding suspension until after the hearing has taken place, even if the hearing takes place more than 40 days after the arrest. Further, in the event of an ALR appeal, the suspension can be delayed for an additional 90 days.
Call an experienced Texas DWI defense lawyer immediately for assistance if you think your license is at risk. Contact Joseph LaBella & Associates today: 1-800-395-5951.
A closer look at how the ALR hearing works
The burden of proof at an ALR hearing is on the State of Texas. Once a driver or his attorney has made a timely request for an ALR hearing, no suspension may be imposed against the driver until the Department of Public Safety proves the following elements by a preponderance of evidence at the hearing:
- That there was reasonable suspicion to stop or probable cause to arrest the driver;
- That probable cause existed that the driver was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated;
- That the driver was placed under arrest and was offered an opportunity to give a specimen of breath or blood, after being notified both orally and in writing of the consequences of either refusing or failing a breath or blood test; AND
- That the driver refused to give a specimen on request of the officer,
OR, that the driver failed a breath or blood test by registering an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or greater per 100ml of blood or 210 liters of breath.
Reinstatement of driver's license after suspension
If no suspension is imposed at the hearing, the Department of Public Safety is obligated to return the Texas license to the person arrested. If a suspension is ordered either automatically or after hearing, a driver must submit a reinstatement fee of $125 to the department before the license will be reinstated. It's wise to send your fee to the Department of Public Safety as soon as you learn that a suspension has been ordered.
One final note
In addition to protecting your driving privileges, there is an equally important reason to request an ALR hearing, and that is to better defend you against the DWI charge.
Unfortunately, most drivers, and many lawyers who are unfamiliar with DWI defense, do not realize the "discovery" importance of an ALR proceeding. In this regard, the importance of having a hearing to challenge your ALR case is twofold. First, with the assistance of a knowledgeable and skilled defense attorney, many drivers are able to avoid a suspension of their driving privileges.
Second, by challenging your license suspension, you are providing your attorney with an opportunity to use the ALR hearing to learn more about how to best defend your DWI charge. In this regard, the information obtained about the ALR through the "discovery" process can be invaluable to your defense, and is often the deciding factor in determining whether the related DWI charges can be successfully defended against.
Contact an experienced DWI defense lawyer
If you were arrested for DWI, contact a lawyer who will fight for you. Call 1-800-395-5951 to see how Joseph LaBella & Associates can help.