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What Many Texans Don't Know About DWI Charges and ALR Hearings

Many people don't know it, but when a person is arrested for DWI in Texas, two separate legal proceedings are initiated: the criminal law side and the civil administrative side. The administrative aspect has to do with your driver's license, and the criminal law aspect has to do with the DWI charge against you.

Swift action is crucial to protecting your driving privileges after a DWI arrest, so here let's discuss what you need to know about the Administrative License Revocation program in Texas.

The Administrative License Revocation program is available to drivers and boaters who have been accused of failing or refusing a breath or blood test.

As in other states, when you drive on Texas roadways, you are required to provide a breath or blood sample when a police officer asks you to do so. If you are age 21 or older, then failing or refusing a breath or blood test can result in suspension of your driver's license for up to two years.

However, you can request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing in order to protect your driving privileges. This hearing is held before an Administrative Law Judge, who will listen to statements from the arresting officer and you or your lawyer.

The ALR hearing is a critical opportunity to contest the suspension of your driver's license, but there is a deadline, so don't miss it.

Once you've been arrested for DWI, you have 15 days to request an ALR hearing. If you don't request a hearing, then your license will be suspended on the 40th day after your arrest. Once your ALR request is accepted, your driver's license will not be suspended until after your ALR hearing. But if you win your ALR case, then you can avoid license suspension altogether.

  • Note: the Texas Department of Public Safety advises that it could take as long as 120 days for the ALR hearing to be scheduled. And remember: your driving privileges remain intact until after the hearing.

Requesting an ALR hearing can not only help protect your license; the ALR hearing is also an excellent opportunity for your lawyer to bolster your DWI defense.

At the Hoelscher Gebbia PLLC, we represent clients on the criminal law side and the administrative law side of DWI cases. We know first-hand how the ALR hearing can be a valuable opportunity to question the arresting officer before the DWI case goes to criminal court. Defense evidence and errors in police work can be uncovered during this administrative proceeding, and these discoveries can greatly strengthen a DWI defense.

For more on requesting an ALR hearing in Texas, please see Hoelscher Gebbia PLLC's ALR request overview.

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San Antonio, TX 78217

Toll Free: 866-608-9939
Toll Free: 866-608-9939
Phone: 210-570-9902
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