Administrative License Revocation (ALR)
The Texas Legislature created the Administrative License Revocation (“ALR”) program in 1993 to “provide a fair and efficient administrative hearing process for determining whether the proposed suspension by the Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) of the driver’s license of a person who has been accused of driving or boating while intoxicated (or in the case of minors, driving or boating with any detectable amount of alcohol in their systems) should be upheld.” When an alleged offender is arrested for a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense in Texas, he or she only has 15 days to request an ALR hearing.
The ALR program is a civil administrative process completely unrelated to criminal court proceedings. ALR hearings, however, can be extremely beneficial for people accused of drunk driving because they allow criminal defense attorneys the opportunity to subpoena and cross-examine the arresting officer in addition to filing a motion for discovery that helps alleged offenders prepare for their criminal cases.
Lawyer for Administrative License Revocation Hearings in Conroe, TX
If you were recently arrested for an alleged DWI offense anywhere in Montgomery County or Harris County, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Evans & Powell, PLLC aggressively defends clients accused of drunk driving in The Woodlands, Spring, Shenandoah, Panorama Village, Porter Heights, Willis, Oak Ridge North, Cut and Shoot, and many surrounding areas of Montgomery County and Harris County.
Sean Evans and Frank Powell are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Conroe who understand how important driver’s licenses are to Texas residents and fight to get revocations or license suspensions reduced or completely eliminated. Call (713) 622 - 2000 today to have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.
Overview of ALR Hearings in Montgomery County
- How do ALR hearings work?
- How long can driver’s licenses stay suspended?
- Where can I learn more about administrative license revocation in Conroe?
When an alleged offender is suspected of DWI in Texas, the arresting officer will read that person the statutory warning about the possible driver’s license consequences of a test refusal or failure from a TxDPS DIC- 24 form. If a person refuses to submit a blood or bodily fluids sample or fails a chemical test, he or she will be given a Notice of Suspension Temporary Driving Permit, TxDPS DIC- 25 form.
Texas Transportation Code § 524.031 establishes that TxDPS must receive hearing requests—in writing, by fax (facsimile transmission), or by another manner prescribed by the Department—no later than the 15th day after the date on which the person received the notice of suspension. A hearing can be rescheduled if the department receives a continuance request five days before the date scheduled for the hearing, but a person who requests a hearing can obtain only one continuance unless he or she shows that a medical condition prevents him or her from attending the rescheduled hearing.
ALR hearings may be conducted with a live hearing or by conference call. During an ALR hearing, TxDPS must prove all of the required elements of a test refusal or failure case by a preponderance of the evidence—meaning an alleged offender “more likely than not” committed the offense in question. Texas Administrative Code § 159.251(b) states that if an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) finds that TxDPS did not prove all of the requisite facts by a preponderance of the evidence, the court will deny the agency’s petition and TxDPS will not be authorized to suspend or deny the alleged offender’s license or disqualify the defendant from receiving a license for the conduct at issue.
Under Texas Transportation Code § 724.042, the issues at ALR hearings relating to DWI test refusal are as follows:
- Whether reasonable suspicion or probable cause existed to stop or arrest the person;
- Whether probable cause existed to believe that the person was operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated or operating a watercraft powered with an engine having a manufacturer’s rating of 50 horsepower or above while intoxicated;
- Whether the person was placed under arrest by the officer and was requested to submit to the taking of a specimen; and
- Whether the person refused to submit to the taking of a specimen on request of the officer.
When an alleged offender is accused of failing a chemical test, Texas Transportation Code § 524.035 establishes the following issues that must be proved at a hearing by a preponderance of the evidence:
- Whether the person had an alcohol concentration of a level specified by Texas Penal Code § 49.01(2)(B) while operating a motor vehicle in a public place or while operating a watercraft; or
- Whether the person was a minor on the date that the breath or blood specimen was obtained and had any detectable amount of alcohol in the minor’s system while operating a motor vehicle in a public place or while operating a watercraft; and
- Whether reasonable suspicion to stop or probable cause to arrest the person existed.
Both parties have the right to appeal an ALJ decision. Texas Transportation Code § 524.041(d) limits TxDPS’s right to appeal to issues of law, and alleged offenders only have 30 days to submit appeal requests to TxDPS.
Under Texas Transportation Code § 524.021, a driver’s license suspension takes effect on the 40th day after the date the person receives a notice of suspension or is presumed to have received notice of suspension. The possible ALR penalties differ depending on the age of the driver and his or her prior criminal record.
For most adult drivers, the length of a possible revocation is as follows when blood or bodily fluid samples are provided and alleged offenders have blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of 0.08 or higher:
- 90 days if the alleged offender’s driving record shows no alcohol-related or drug-related enforcement contact during the 10 years preceding the date of the alleged offender’s arrest; or
- One year if the alleged offender’s driving record shows one or more alcohol-related or drug-related enforcement contacts—meaning a driver’s license suspension, disqualification, or prohibition order under the laws of this State or another state resulting from an alcohol-related driving conviction or refusal to submit to the taking of a breath or blood specimen following an arrest for an offense prohibiting the operation of a motor vehicle or an offense prohibiting the operation of a watercraft—during the 10 years preceding the date of the alleged offender’s arrest.
If an adult driver refuses to submit to a chemical test, the possible lengths of revocation are as follows under Texas Transportation Code § 724.035:
- 180 days if it is the alleged offender’s first offense; or
- One year if the alleged offender has one or more alcohol-related or drug-related enforcement contacts during the 10 years preceding the date of the person’s arrest.
If the alleged offender is a minor, the possible suspension periods are as follows, if the minor provided a blood or breath sample or a detectable amount of alcohol was found following an arrest for an offense involving the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated:
- 60 days if it is the alleged offender’s first offense;
- 120 days if the alleged offender has been previously convicted once of driving or operating watercraft under the influence of alcohol by minor, DWI, DWI with a child passenger, boating while intoxicated (BWI), or intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter offenses involving the operation of a motor vehicle or a watercraft; or
- 180 days if the alleged offender has been previously convicted twice or more of any of the offenses listed above.
If a minor refused to submit a sample, the possible lengths of revocation are as follows:
- 180 days if it is the alleged offender’s first offense;
- Two years if the alleged offender’s license was previously suspended for failing or refusing a blood or breath test, or for a DWI, intoxication assault, or intoxication manslaughter conviction during the 10 years preceding the date of arrest.
Alleged offenders can also have their commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) disqualified for one year for any refusal or test failure. If the alleged offender was transporting hazardous material, the CDL will be disqualified for three years.
TxDPS | ALR Program — In this section of the TxDPS website, you can find additional information about the ALR program. Learn more about the ALR process, hearings, and periods of suspension. You can also find information about occupational licenses and driver eligibility status.
Texas Department of Public Safety – Conroe Office
2 Hilbig Rd.
Conroe, TX 77301
ALR Laws | State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) — SOAH is an independent agency within the executive branch of the State of Texas that conducts hearings and mediations in response to referrals from more than 50 state agencies and governmental entities. Visit this section of the SOAH website to learn more about the law governing ALR hearings, ALJs, and the location of hearings. You can also find information about appeals, issues decided at hearings, and driver’s license reinstatement.
Evans & Powell, PLLC | Conroe Administrative License Revocation Defense Attorney
Are you at risk of having your license revoked because of a DWI arrest in Montgomery County or Harris County? You will want to contact Evans & Powell, PLLC for help protecting your rights and fighting to achieve the most favorable possible outcome to your case. You only have 15 days to request an ALR hearing, so contact our office immediately to protect your rights.
Conroe criminal defense lawyers Sean Evans and Frank Powell represent individuals all over Montgomery County and Harris County, including The Woodlands, Spring, Patton Village, Pinehurst, Splendora, Magnolia, Willis, Woodbranch, and several other nearby communities. Our attorneys can review your case and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (713) 622 - 2000 or fill out an online contact form to receive a free, confidential consultation.