What Happens in an ALR Hearing?
One serious consequence of a DWI is license revocation, which can strip you of your driving privileges for a long period of time. If you have been charged with a DWI and have received notice of a license suspension, be aware that you have the option to request a hearing, which may stall the revocation date and allow you the chance to build a case to defend against the measure. To better understand how to fight a license revocation, let’s go into the ALR hearing process.
What Warrants an Administrative License Revocation?
The Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program is a process requiring the Department of Public Safety to suspend and/or disqualify your driver license if you are arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or boating while intoxicated (BWI) when you:
- refuse to take or fail to complete a blood or breath test;
- provide a blood or breath test that registers a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more while driving a non-commercial motor vehicle; or
- provide a blood or breath test that registers a BAC of 0.04 or more while driving a commercial motor vehicle.
If a law enforcement officer has reason to believe you are impaired, they may administer a set of field sobriety tests that, if you fail, will be reason to arrest you for DWI or BWI. Note that your license may be suspended and/or disqualified simply if you refuse to take the field sobriety test.
Requesting an ALR Hearing
You are entitled to contest the suspension of your driver license in an ALR hearing if you request the hearing within the specified time period. If you refuse or fail to take the BAC test, the arresting officer will take your driver license, issue you a suspension notice, and provide you with a temporary driving permit. From the date of your suspension notice, you have 15 days to request a hearing to contest your driver license suspension. If you do not request a hearing, the suspension goes into effect on the 40th day after you were served your suspension notice, usually 40 days after the date of arrest.
If you consent to a BAC test but the results return an illegal BAC level, the Department of Public Safety will mail you a notice of suspension and/or a temporary driving permit. You have 20 days from the date the suspension notice is mailed to request a hearing to contest your license suspension. As with the previous situation, if a hearing is not requested, the suspension will go into effect on the 40th day after the date the suspension notice has been presumedly received.
After your request is received, the Texas Department of Public Safety will mail you a letter providing all the details for your ALR hearing, including the date, time, and location. It can take up to 120 days to schedule your hearing, but your license will remain active until the hearing takes place. Be aware that if you miss the request deadline, your request will be automatically denied, and the suspension will go into effect on the 40th day after your notice was served.
You can request a hearing through the following methods:
Texas Department of Public Safety
Enforcement and Compliance Service
P.O. Box 4040
Austin, TX 78765-4040
- Phone: 800-394-9913 (ALR only)
- Fax: 512-424-2650
If you request a hearing by mail or by fax, be sure to include the following items:
- your name,
- date of birth,
- driver license number,
- current mailing address,
- home and daytime telephone numbers,
- date and county of arrest,
- arresting agency,
- arresting officer,
- whether the test was failed, refused, or not requested, and
- any other information to properly identify your record.
The Hearing Decision
All ALR hearings are held by the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will listen to each party’s evidence and make a final decision on driver license suspension. If the ALJ finds that the Department of Public Safety has proven its case, it will authorize the suspension of your driver license; if it finds that the DPS has not proven its case, your driver license will not be suspended.
Note that at the conclusion of your case, a reinstatement fee of $125 is required prior to the renewal or issuance of your driver license, in addition to paying any other outstanding fees as a result of the inciting incident.
If you have been charged with DWI and fear license revocation, seek legal representation immediately to ensure that you request an ALR hearing in time. Our legal team at The Clark Law Firm can assess the circumstances of your charge and how to best proceed in court to defend you against revocation of your driver license.
Contact us at The Clark Firm today for a free initial consultation.