What You Need to Know About DWI ALR Hearings
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will attempt to suspend the driver’s license of a person arrested for DUI who either refused to submit to a DUI breath test or failed the DUI breath test (or blood test). This is known as the “Administrative License Revocation” (ALR) process. The bottom line is this: You have 15 days from the date of your arrest to have an attorney request an ALR Hearing on your behalf. We can request the ALR hearing for you on the dame day that you call our office. Once we request the hearing, your Texas driver’s license will not be suspended until we have the ALR hearing — where we will argue that DPS does not have the right to suspend your driving privileges. You should contact us to request an ALR hearing for you if you were arrested for a Texas DWI or DUI within the last 15 days, and you either: (1) failed the DUI breath test or blood test with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more, or (2) you refused to take the breath test and refused to take a blood test (if offered).
At Peveto Law, we have won several ALR hearings and had three more ALR hearing “losses” overturned after our client was found “Not Guilty” at trial. But, winning ALR hearings is difficult. The odds are not in your favor (roughly 90% lose this hearing), and the deck is stacked against you. However, even if you lose the ALR hearing, the process of having the ALR hearing can be very valuable to your overall DUI defense. By requesting an ALR hearing, you and your attorney gain vital information about your case – getting a “sneak preview” of the evidence the district attorney will use against you at your DUI trial. Think of the ALR hearing as a mini DUI trial where you have nothing to lose and everything to gain (by possibly getting to keep your license and learning what some of the evidence is against you (i.e. the police report).
As a practical matter, if you were arrested for DUI in Dallas County, the ALR hearing will be at the Dallas SOAH Office (6333 Forest Park Road, Suite 150a; Dallas, Texas 75235). If you have a Collin County DUI charge, the ALR hearing will be held at the Collin County Courthouse (1800 N. Graves St. McKinney, TX 75069), in a small room across the hall from County Court at Law #4 and County Court at Law #6.
The Issues Determined at the ALR Hearing for Texas DUI Charges. If you are an adult who failed the Texas breath test or blood test, the ALR judge must determine whether:
• you had an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or greater in relation to your DUI arrest; and
• “reasonable suspicion” to stop you or “probable cause” to arrest you existed.
If you refused a breath test or refused a blood test, the ALR judge will be considering whether:
• the officer had a good reason to pull you over (the “reasonable suspicion” / “probable cause” analysis);
• probable cause existed to for the officer to make a DUI/DWI arrest (belief that you were operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated);
• the police officer made a proper request for a sample of your blood or breath for analysis; and
• you refused to take the DUI/DWI breath test or DUI/DWI blood test.
Offenders Under 21 Years of Age – If a breath test or blood test was not requested, or if the driver arrested for DUI provided a breath sample or blood sample with any detectable amount of alcohol, the ALR judge must determine whether:
• (1) the person is a minor; and whether he or she had any detectable amount of alcohol in his or her system while operating a motor vehicle in a public place; and
• (2) whether there was reasonable suspicion to stop the minor now charged with a Texas DUI, or probable cause to arrest the minor for dui.
To insure we have time to request an ALR hearing for you – and prevent an automatic DUI Driver’s License suspension – contact us immediately if you were arrested for DUI or DWI within the last 15 days. If you either: (1) failed the DUI breath test and/or DUI blood test with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more, or (2) you refused to take either the DUI breath or blood test (if offered) – the police should have given you a yellow or white piece of paper entitled, “NOTICE OF SUSPENSION / TEMPORARY DRIVING PERMIT” some time before you were released from custody (if you received this piece of paper, the police concluded that you either failed or refused to take the DUI breath test or blood test). This piece of paper you were given is also your driver’s license for the time being. You are legal to drive with it for only 15 days (sometimes 40) after the date of your arrest – unless your privileges are extended by requesting an ALR hearing.