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What is an Administrative License Revocation (ALR)?
An ALR occurs when a person is arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). When a person is arrested for a DWI in Texas, two distinct cases against the arrested person are created. First, there is the criminal charge which is the actual DWI portion. Second, there is a civil case called an Administrative License Revocation also known as an ALR.
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What causes an ALR?
There are two situations that would begin an ALR. The first is when the driver refuses to submit to a breath or blood test. The second is when the driver fails a breath or blood test. This is in reference to a DWI arrest.
You have the right to an ALR hearing. A successful ALR hearing can prevent your license from being suspended and help fight your DWI criminal charge.
What must the Department of Public Safety prove at an ALR hearing?
- 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.
- The driver was placed under arrest and given an opportunity to give a breath or blood specimen.
- The driver refused to give a specimen on request of the officer or that the driver failed the breath or blood test by registering an alcohol concentration of .08 or greater.
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After my DWI arrest, will my license be automatically suspended?
No; not necessarily. An ALR suspension is automatic unless you or your attorney requests a hearing to challenge the suspension. This challenge must be done in writing and within 15 days after receiving notice of suspension. The notice of suspension is usually given at the time of the arrest.
If this hearing is missed or not requested, then the temporary driving permit expires after the 40th day. But if you do request this hearing timely, no suspension will occur until after the ALR hearing has been completed.
After my DWI arrest, will my license be immediately suspended?
No. If a person is arrested for DWI, the officer is required to take that individual’s Texas driver’s license and give the person being arrested a temporary driving permit. This temporary driving permit expires on the 40th day after the permit is issued.
Who conducts the ALR hearing?
An administrative law judge (ALJ) will conduct the hearing.
If the ALJ determines that the Texas Department of Public Safety has met the burden and proven its case, then the license will be suspended. If the ALJ finds that the Texas Department of Public Safety has not met its case, the license will not be suspended.
What are the benefits of an ALR hearing?
First, if the ALR goes in your favor, you can keep your license from getting suspended. Second, it is a great opportunity for your criminal defense team to find the best way to defend your DWI case. This is because the criminal defense attorney will be able to see what information is presented against you at the hearing.
A skilled criminal defense attorney can issue a subpoena and compel an officer to testify at an ALR hearing. Usually, if the officer does not attend, the defendant can win by default. Even if the officer does attend, it is a great way to gain valuable insights into the DWI charge.
Remember: An ALR hearing is a civil case and is separate from your criminal case. Because it is not a criminal case, the Texas Department of Public Safety only has to prove its case by a preponderance of the evidence not beyond a reasonable doubt.
How long will my license be suspended?
- If the person refused the blood test and this is his or her first alcohol-related arrest, then 180 days.
- If the person refused the blood test and this is not his or her first alcohol-related arrest, then two years.
For adults over 21 years old who refused:
For adults over 21 years of age who provide a blood or breath specimen of .08 or greater:
- If the person provided a blood or breath specimen of .08 or greater and this is his or her first offense, then 90 days.
- If the person provided a blood or breath specimen of .08 or greater and this is not his or her first offense, then one year.
- Keep in mind, you may also qualify for an occupational license.
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