Houston Criminal Defense Blog

What Is an ALR Hearing?

If you were arrested in the State of Texas for DWI, you may have received a notice that your license is to be suspended whether you submitted to a chemical test or not. This suspension is referred to as an Automatic License Revocation (ALR). In the event that you took a test and the results showed that you were at or above the legal limit, your license may be suspended for a period of 90 days if it is your first offense within the last 10 years. Upon refusal to take a test, on your first offense, you could suffer a 180 day suspension. For those who have had an alcohol or drug arrest within the last 10 years, the suspension could be for one year if over the limit and two years for a refusal. Only in some circumstances will a driver be eligible for an occupational license.

Luckily, these suspensions are not absolute and there is some recourse for drivers who want to keep their license. In Texas, a driver can request a hearing within 15 days of being served with ALR paperwork. If the hearing is properly requested, the suspension does not take effect until the completion of the hearing which can be several months. If no hearing is requested, your license revocation will take effect after 40 days.

At the hearing, the burden of proof falls on the department of public safety (DPS). To secure your suspension, the state has to prove the below listed series of facts by only a preponderance of the evidence, not a reasonable doubt as in a criminal trial.

1) That the officer had sufficient reason to stop you or probable cause to make a DWI arrest.

2) That there was probable cause to the believe that the driver was intoxicated and in actual physical control of the vehicle in question.

3) That the driver was arrested and given the opportunity to submit a breath or blood sample after being notified both orally and in writing of the sanctions of either refusing or failing the state test; and

4) That the driver either refused to provide a breath or blood sample or failed the state administered test by showing a BAC of 0.08 grams or more.

A well trained DWI lawyer will often welcome the opportunity for an ALR hearing. First, if the DPS cannot prove that the above events occurred, then your ALR will be overturned and you can turn your focus on the criminal portion of the DWI while keeping your driver’s license. An ALR hearing is also a useful tool because it can be a preview of the criminal trial and how well the officer testifies. Don’t let an ALR make your DWI even more complicated than it already is, let a qualified DWI attorney help you keep your license.

Categories: Criminal Defense, DWI