Many people are not aware that driving while intoxicated (DWI) can result in both criminal and administrative penalties. Refusing or failing a chemical test may result in a license suspension by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Depending on the situation, you could have your license suspended for up to two years because of one bad night.
It’s stressful enough to deal with criminal penalties but adding administrative consequences can make the whole situation seem unbearable. If you want to retain your driving privileges you must act now. You can hire an experienced attorney to file a request for an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing. It’s important you do this quickly because you only have 15 days after arrest to file a request for an ALR hearing.
Attorney for DWI License Suspensions in Harris County, Texas
It’s critical you understand not just the criminal consequences for DWI, but also the administrative penalties. Refusing or failing a chemical test can result in a license suspension for a period of time. The only way to challenge the suspension is through an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing with an experienced attorney.
Find that attorney now with Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc.. We have years of experience with DWI cases and ALR hearings. Our attorneys can use our knowledge and resources to help you get your life back. Contact us today at (713) 224-5529 for a free consultation. We accept clients throughout the greater Harris County area including Pasadena, Uptown, River Oaks and Bellaire.
Overview of ALR/License Suspension
- What is an Administrative License Revocation Hearing?
- How Does an ALR Hearing Function?
- How Long Is Your License Suspended Because of DWI in Texas?
- Additional Resources
What Is an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearing?
An administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing is a civil administrative process, which is unrelated to any criminal court proceeding. It’s reserved for people who refused or failed to take a chemical test. These tests include blood analysis, breath analysis and urinalysis.
You can fail a chemical test if you have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. If you refuse to submit to chemical testing, then technically you’re in violation of implied consent laws. Implied consent laws state any person using Texas public roads are implicitly agreeing to chemical testing by law enforcement. Violating these laws will result in an administrative license suspension.
An ALR hearing is a way for you to fight your license suspension. You can file a request for an ALR hearing to DPS before your suspension begins. In fact, it’s important you do this quickly since you only have 15 days after you received notice to file for an ALR hearing. If you fail to request it within the allotted time, then your license will be suspended after 40 days.
How Does an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearing Work?
An ALR hearing functions differently than a standard criminal proceeding. The evidence isn’t presented in front of a jury, but an administrative law judge. The judge will interpret the rules of the hearing and decide if you should keep your license or not. ALR hearings also use a different burden of proof called preponderance of the evidence, meaning you must prove that it’s more likely than not you were not drinking and driving.
There will be no prosecution at the hearing, but your arresting officer may show up. If you hire an attorney for the hearing, it could be a good chance to question the officer without a District Attorney present. The officer may not be prepared so it will make cross-examination much easier for the defense.
Texas Transportation Code § 524.035 states the evidence must prove the following if your license was suspended because of a failed chemical test.
- You were driving a motor vehicle;
- You gave a blood, breath or urine sample which detected alcohol in your system above the legal limit; and
- The officer had enough probable cause to stop you
Texas law states the evidence must prove the following if your license was suspended because you refused to take a chemical test.
- The officer pulled you over;
- They had enough probable cause to determine that you were driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated;
- The officer requested for you to submit to chemical testing and informed you of the legal ramifications of refusing; and
- You refused to comply with chemical testing.
How Long Is Your License Suspended for DWI in Texas?
DPS will suspend your license for a period of time if you failed or refused a chemical test. The suspension period depends on your age and if you refused or failed chemical testing. Suspension terms for refusals tend to be much longer than failed chemical tests.
If you are over the age of 21 and a non-commercial driver, then your suspension term is:
- Up to 90 days for failing a chemical test; or
- Up to 1 year for failing a chemical test with a history of one prior failed test
- Up to 180 days for your first refusal; or
- Up to 2 years for your second or subsequent refusal
If you are underaged and a non-commercial driver, then your suspension term is:
- Up to 60 days for failing a chemical test;
- Up to 120 days for failing a chemical test with a history of one prior failed test; or
- Up to 180 days for failing a chemical test with a history of two or more failed tests
- Up to 180 days for refusing a chemical test; or
- Up to 2 years for your second or subsequent refusal
If you are a commercial driver, your commercial driver’s license (CDL) will be disqualified for:
- Up to one year if you refused or failed chemical testing; or
- Up to three years if you refused or failed chemical testing while transporting hazardous materials.
It’s important to remember the legal limit is different for underaged minors and commercial drivers. Commercial drivers cannot have a legal limit over .04 BAC when operating their commercial vehicle. Underaged minors have an incredibly low legal limit of just .02 BAC.
A DWI conviction can lead to a criminal license suspension. This is completely unrelated to your administrative license suspension. In fact, you could possibly be required to complete two suspension terms before you can drive again. This is why it’s incredibly important you combat your administrative license suspension early before your trial.
Listed below are the license suspension terms for a DWI conviction.
- First Offense – License suspension for up to 1 year; or
- Second or Subsequent Offense – License suspension for up to 2 years
Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program – Visit the official website of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to learn more about their Administrative License Revocation process. Access the site to request a hearing, pay reinstatement fees and find more information surrounding ALR hearings.
Texas Implied Consent Laws – Visit the official website of the Texas Penal Code to find more information about implied consent laws. Access the site to read the statutes, legal definitions, how samples are handled and more.
Lawyer for ALR Hearings in Houston, Texas
If you or someone you know who has recently failed or refused DWI testing, it’s vital you seek legal representation. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will suspend your license for months if you don’t act now. Take charge of this suspension now with Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc..
The attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. are experienced in DWI defense. We will use our skills, resources and defense tactics to help you get the best possible outcome for your case. Call us now at (713) 224-5529 for a free consultation. Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. accepts clients throughout the Houston area and surrounding communities including Bellaire, West University Place and Pasadena.
This article was last updated on March 7th, 2019.