ALR HEARING

Dallas Criminal Lawyer

Dallas Criminal Lawyer | Fort Worth Criminal Lawyer 

In Texas, at the time you were issued your driver’s license by the Department of Motor Vehicles, you agreed that you would subject yourself to field sobriety tests, breathalyzer tests, and blood tests to measure the alcohol content in your system. Texas implied consent law requires drivers suspected of DWI to submit a sample of breath or blood for testing. While every Texas driver has already given consent simply by getting behind the wheel of the car, the law gives every driver the physical ability to refuse to comply, but the consequence of a refusal is a longer suspension.  During the course of a DWI investigation, the suspected intoxicated driver is asked to take a chemical test, usually a breath test, to measure his alcohol concentration level. The suspect is informed that his driver license will be suspended if he or she refuses to take the test or fails it (registering a .08 Alcohol Concentration or greater).

Following an arrest for DWI, the officer will confiscate the defendant’s driver’s license and issue a temporary driving permit.  The defendant has 15 days from the date the suspension notice is received to request a hearing. If no hearing is requested, the suspension goes into effect on the 40th day after notice was served (usually 40 days after arrest).  If a request for a hearing is timely requested, the ALR suspension will be delayed until a hearing takes place.

The only issues at the ALR hearing are whether

  • Officer’s had reasonable suspicion or probable cause to make the stop;
  • Officer’s had probable cause to believe the person was driving a motor vehicle or operating a watercraft in a public place while intoxicated;
  • The person placed under arrest by the officer and was asked to give a blood or breath specimen; and
  • The person refused to give a specimen.

If the administrative judge finds in the affirmative on all four issues, the defendant’s driver’s license is suspended.  If not, the license is returned or reinstated.  For the first alcohol-related, drug-related ALR suspension (21 or older), the period of suspension is 90 days if it is a failure case (having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.  Refusal cases (refusing request of peace officer to submit to talking of a specimen) incur a 180-day suspension.  Including a provision for license suspension or revocation provides a means of encouraging those arrested for DWI to submit to the test, so that valuable chemical evidence may be obtained.