What Happens at an ALR Hearing in Irving, Texas?
An Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearing in Irving, Texas, is a civil process that takes place after individuals arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) refuse or fail a breath or blood test. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether the offender’s driver’s license will be revoked. An ALR Hearings lawyer in Irving, TX, can help you through this process.
Steps Leading to the ALR Hearing
The process leading up to an ALR Hearing begins when you are pulled over on suspicion of DWI. A timeline of typical steps is included below:
- When a police officer stops you for suspicion of DWI, they will conduct a set of field sobriety tests. If you do not perform well on these tests, the law enforcement officer will arrest you for DWI.
- Law enforcement will then measure your BAC by administering either a breath or blood test.
- If you refuse to take the sobriety test, or you take it and fail (in Irving, Texas, a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher counts as failing), you are served a notice that your driver’s license will be suspended.
- You have 15 days from the date you received your suspension note to request an ALR Hearing. If you do not request an ALR hearing, your driver’s license suspension goes into effect automatically 40 days after law enforcement served you the notice of suspension.
- The law enforcement officer will take your driver’s license at the scene of your arrest for DWI and give you a temporary driving permit.
- Even after your driver’s license suspension has ended, you will not be able to renew or reissue your driver’s license until you have paid a reinstatement fee.
Note that refusing to take the sobriety test will result in your driver’s license being automatically suspended for a period of 90 days to two years for violating Texas’s implied consent law. This will occur regardless of whether you are ultimately convicted of DWI.
Requesting an ALR Hearing
You can contest the suspension of your driver’s license in an ALR Hearing. You are entitled to request the hearing, but you must do so within 15 days of receiving your suspension notice.
If you make this deadline, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will mail you a letter at the address they have on record for you. This letter will provide all the details for your ALR hearing, including the date, time, and location. DPS can take up to 120 days to schedule your hearing, but your license will remain active until the hearing takes place.
If you miss the 15-day deadline, your request for an ALR hearing will be denied. You will receive notification of this denial by mail.
Inside the ALR Hearing
The State Office of Administrative Hearings will hold your ALR Hearing. Both you (and your lawyer) and DPS will present evidence demonstrating why your driver’s license should or should not be revoked. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will consider all the evidence presented and render their decision.
If the ALJ finds that DPS has proven its case, the ALJ will issue an order to authorize the suspension of your driver’s license. If the ALJ believes that the DPS failed to prove its case, your driver’s license will not be suspended.
The final order will be sent to all parties, but the ALJ’s decision can be appealed.
Applying for an Occupational License
If your driver’s license is revoked or suspended at the ALR Hearing, you may be eligible to apply for an occupational license. This special license, although restricted, allows you to drive a motor vehicle when required for work, school activities, or the execution of essential household duties like buying groceries.
You will need to send a petition to the Justice of the Peace, county or district court where you live, or to the court of original jurisdiction where your DWI took place. The court will decide whether it wants to grant you permission to apply for an occupational driver’s license.
Seek Legal Help With Your ALR Hearing
Having your driver’s license suspended or revoked is no small matter. The inability to drive yourself to and from work, school, church, or the grocery store can place a serious hamper on your life.
With so much at stake, you might consider seeking help from an Irving, Texas DWI lawyer. Attorney Randall B. Isenberg can represent you in this important matter. His more than 30 years working a courtroom—as a former prosecutor and state district judge—means he has seen from every angle how this process works. He will put this experience to use in defending you and your rights in your Irving DWI.