In the State of Texas, the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) program represents a process used by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to suspend and/or disqualify the driver licenses of vehicle operators that are arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Boating While Intoxicated (BWI).
There are three circumstances in Texas for invoking the ALR process:
- Refusing to take or fail to finish a blood or a breath test for detecting the presence of intoxicating substances
- Consenting to a blood or a breath test that measures a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08% while operating a non-commercial motor vehicle
- Consenting to a blood or a breath test that measures a BAC of at least 0.04% while operating a commercial motor vehicle
A suspension of driving privileges related to the ALR program in Texas is not technically connected to any criminal proceeding that involves the charge of a DWI or a BWI although the facts are pertinent to both.
Because of the seriousness of a DWI or a BWI charge, it is important for anyone facing the charge to work with a criminal defense lawyer who has experience litigating cases involving the ALR process. Texas licensed criminal defense attorney Adam Capetillo will provide a clear explanation of the ALR program, as well as walk you through every step of the process that can exonerate you of a DWI or a BWI charge.
Overview of the ALR Hearing Process
A law enforcement officer that has one or more valid reasons to believe you are impaired while operating a motor vehicle will establish a number of sobriety tests. If you fail one or more of the sobriety tests, the law enforcement officer will then ask you to take a blood or a breath test to measure your BAC. If you refuse to take or you fail any of the sobriety tests administered by a law enforcement officer, Texas law mandates your driver’s license must be suspended and hence, you are disqualified from operating a motor vehicle.
Important Elements of the ALR Process
If a law enforcement officer says you have failed one or more field sobriety tests or you refuse to comply with the request to take a field sobriety test, he or she will initiate the ALR process by following these steps:
- Take your driver’s license
- Issue a driver’s license suspension notice
- Give you a temporary Texas driving permit
You have 15 days from the date of the driver’s license suspension to contest the suspension by requesting a hearing. If you do not request a hearing within 15 days of the date you received a driver’s license suspension, then the suspension officially starts on the 41st day you received the suspension notice. The 40-day time frame typically begins the day of your DWI or BWI arrest since that is mostly likely when you received notice.
If you consent to a blood test, the law enforcement officer administering the test will let you keep your driver’s license. If the test results are over the legal limit, you will receive a notice of suspension in the mail. In this event, you’ll have 20 days from the date printed on the notice (not the day you receive it) to request an ALR hearing. If the hearing is not requested in that time period, then your license is automatically suspended on the 41st day after the date of the notice.
What Happens at an ALR Hearing?
One of the most important reasons to contact a highly rated lawyer to handle an ALR case is to determine whether you should contest the suspension and/or disqualification of your Texas driver’s license. You have 15 days from the day of receiving the suspension notice to request an ALR hearing. The DPS will then process your request and respond to it by sending the decision to the address listed on your arrest record.
Every ALR hearing in Texas takes place at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) designated location. The hearing will be heard by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who will determine the facts of your case and take into account any witness testimony. The burden of proof in an ALR proceeding is much lower than in a Texas criminal proceeding. In an ALR hearing, the ALJ must
You can request an ALR hearing online, by fax, or by snail mail.
Contact Capetillo Law Firm
There is an inaccurate perception by many Texas motor vehicle owners that being arrested for a DWI or a BWI is the end of the world. Without a driver’s license, your career and personal relationships can be irrevocably damaged. However, the ALR hearing process represents a viable way for anyone arrested for a DWI or a BWI to receive a fighting chance to recover his or her driver’s license and possibly get the DWI/BWI charges dismissed in criminal court.
To optimize your chances for recovering your Texas driver’s licenses by going through the ALR hearing process, you need a persuasive criminal defense attorney in your legal corner to represent your best interests.