Administrative License Revocation Hearing (ALR Hearing)
The Administrative License Revocation Hearing, or ALR Hearing, may be the most important thing you do as part of your DWI defense. It’s important to note that there are two cases you need to be concerned with when arrested for DWI.
Case1: The DWI charge
Case 2: The revocation of your driver’s license.
What is a DIC 25 Notice of Suspension and Temporary Driving Permit?
When arrested, you will have your license confiscated. You will also receive a DIC-25 Notice of Suspension and Temporary Driving Permit. On this form, it says at the top in bold:
“Your License, Permit or Privilege to Operate a Motor Vehicle or Watercraft Will Be Suspended or Denied Effective 40 Days after the Date You Receive This Notice”
The language implies there is no way to prevent a license suspension. However, the fine print at the bottom says otherwise:
“You may request a hearing to content the suspension…the request for hearing must be received by the Texas Department of Public Safety no later than 15 days after you received or are presumed to have received notice of suspension. Failure to request a hearing within this time is a waiver of your right to a hearing.”
Your License Will Be Suspended If You Don’t Request an ALR Hearing Within 15 Days.
It is essential to convince the Judge to keep your license at the Administrative License Revocation Hearing. Imagine not being able to drive. How would it affect your job or your responsibilities such as family and children?
To win an ALR Hearing, it is essential to contact a criminal defense attorney that specializes in DWI cases. They will argue on your behalf:
- Driving is a necessity.
- You will not repeat the behavior.
- Implement a technical defense.
Why is the ALR Hearing Important?
Firstly, an ALR Hearing is a civil proceeding. Lawyers get discovery and can subpoena witnesses. Through this discovery, an attorney can:
- Gather the facts and evidence needed to defend your case.
- Question the arresting officer and witnesses.
- Obtain documents that would not normally be accessible.
In most cases, your lawyer will subpoena the officers involved and have them give live testimony. Testimony unprepared by a district attorney. As you might guess, unprepared witnesses often say the strangest things and these comments can benefit your defense and allow you to beat your DWI charge.
Secondly, testimony is under oath. This means that if the officer can’t remember important details or says something that is incorrect, we can take a transcript of his testimony and present it to the District Attorney. As a result, we have achieved many dismissals for clients because an unprepared witness made a mistake.
This is critical during any trial or sentencing phase and could mean the difference between conviction and acquittal.
Can an Administrative License Revocation Hearing decision Be Appealed?
A decision can be appealed but you will be required to pay a fee. This appeal will allow you more time without a suspension going into effect if you do lose the appeal.
How to WIN an ALR Hearing
1. Request an Administrative License Revocation Hearing
The Notice of Suspension and Temporary Driving Permit states that you have 15 days from your arrest to request an ALR hearing on your driver’s license suspension. If you don’t request a hearing within 15 days, the suspension takes effect 40 days after the notice was served. If you do request a hearing, DPS will send a letter with the date, time, and location of your ALR hearing. It can take up to 4 months for DPS to schedule an ALR hearing. Until that time, the temporary permit is valid up until a Judge at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (“SOAH”) has ruled.
2. Attend the ALR Hearing in-Person
You can attend an ALR hearing in person or via a remote option. Always attend an ALR hearing. If you do subpoena the arresting officer and they do not show up, you’ll win by default. If you attend remotely, DPS does not need a live witness and the ability to gather facts & evidence is lost.
3. Argue Your Case in Font of the Judge
1. Prove that driving is a necessity.
Your job, family or other commitments require that you be able to drive.
2. Make it clear that you will not repeat this behavior.
This arrest was a mistake on your part and you plan to rectify the situation through behavior modification, classes, rehab etc.
3. Consider a technical defense.
Argue Lack of Reasonable Suspicion
An officer needs reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle. If you can show a lack of reasonable suspicion, you can win the hearing.
Argue Lack of Probable Cause
An officer must have probable cause to arrest you. This means specific articulable facts – such as an admission, appearance, tests – that show you committed an offense. If there are other reasons that explain your appearance or test results, they can be brought before the Judge. These may include:
- Improperly administered tests
- Preexisting medical condition
- Exposure to certain solvents
Prove Failure to Read Statutory Warning
An officer must read you the DIC-24 statutory warning asking for a breath or blood sample. If they failed to do this, you will win the ALR hearing.
Request Breathalyzer Records
Request the inspection, maintenance and/or repair records for the 30 days before and after the test. If DPS does not provide them after you’ve paid for them, the breath test won’t come in as evidence in the ALR hearing.
4. Call Clyde W. Burleson to Handle Your ALR Hearing
Clyde Burleson handles all phases of the DWI legal process including Administrative License Revocation Hearings.
A DWI conviction can ruin your life. The penalties for a DWI in Texas can range from fines, to jail time, to community service, to Texas license suspension and even license revocation. It can leave you saddled with years of debt from costs as well as a criminal record that will follow you everywhere. You could even lose your job. The cost of a DWI lawyer is a lot less than what the cost of getting a DWI are.
Clyde W. Burleson, P.C. is an expert Houston DWI defense lawyer and former Assistant District Attorney & Chief Prosecutor for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission who can explain to you the penalties you face and ensure you are not unduly punished.