If You Were Arrested for DWI, You Should Fight to Keep Your Drivers License Even Though You’ll Lose

Girl showing her drivers license

You Have 15 Days to Request the Hearing on Your Drivers License

When you are arrested for DWI, intoxication assault, or intoxication manslaughter, DPS will try to suspend your license if you refused a blood or breath test or if you consented to the test and your blood alcohol level was .08 or higher. You have 15 days to request a hearing to try and keep your drivers license. The hearing is called and Administrative License Revocation Hearing or an ALR Hearing.

What Happens at the Hearing

Even though the license suspension comes from the DWI arrest, it is in a completely different court and doesn’t directly impact your DWI case. You could win the hearing and avoid the license suspension and still be convicted of DWI or your license could be suspended even if the DWI case is dismissed.

Even if you request the ALR hearing, your drivers license will probably be suspended. In the DWI case, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. In the ALR hearing, the state only has to prove that the police officer probably had reason to arrest you for DWI and that you either refused the blood or breath test or that you consented and your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .08 or higher.

The most likely way to win the hearing is for the officer not to show up. If the officer shows up, we lose the vast majority of the time.

The Goal of the Hearing is to Help Your DWI case

If the goal was just to keep you driving, there are easier ways to do that. If your drivers license is suspended, you’re eligible for an occupational license and it’s cheaper and a lot less work to get you an occupational license. The goal of the hearing is to put your DWI case in a better position.

We don’t normally have a chance to talk to the arresting officer in criminal cases, but the ALR hearing gives us that opportunity. We subpoena the arresting officer and at the hearing I get to question the officer on the reason that he pulled you over, why he began investigating the defendant for DWI, what went into his decision to arrest, whether or not the defendant consented to a breath or blood test, and how that test was given.

The officers don’t usually prepare for these hearings like they do for a trial. They’ll review their report and may review the video, but that’s usually all they do. Officers regularly make mistakes when giving the field sobriety tests, when making the arrest, and at other points during the encounter. At the ALR hearing, we can get the officers story on the record, including any mistakes that they have made. Here’s the important part: we can then use the officer’s statements and the mistakes that officer made in the DWI case. Those statements can lead to DWI cases being dismissed, better offers from the prosecutor, or a better result at trial.

I recommend requesting an ALR hearing in every DWI, intoxication assault, or intoxication manslaughter case, because it helps me get you a better result on that case.

If you’re being charged with DWI, schedule a FREE consultation and I would be happy to discuss your case with you. If you’re not ready to schedule a consultation, download 4 Things You Need to Do If You Were Arrested for DWI in Texas.

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