Win Your ALR Hearing in Texas

You have been arrested or charged with a Texas DWI or DUI. You now are facing a driver’s license suspension and need advice fast. Quick action is needed but it is not a hopeless, impossible situation to try and save a driver’s license from a suspension.

Winning a Texas ALR suspension hearing is not impossible. First, you must request a hearing within 15 days of the refusal or failure test. The request deadline is within 20 days of the DPS letter if it was a consensual blood test failure. You must ask for discovery. You must show up to the hearing prepared to argue the case with or without your witnesses present.

What is my Texas Drivers License Status?

Your driver’s license status after a DWI or DUI arrest, and within 40 days, is still the same as it was before the charge or arrest. In order to have a chance at saving a driver’s license a request MUST be done in 15 days of notice. By missing or ignoring the 15 day ALR hearing request a person’s driver license will be automatically suspended at 40 days. After 40 days a person will need to obtain an occupational driver’s license to legally drive.

Once a hearing is properly requested the person’s driver’s license is good until an eventual hearing. If the hearing officer finds that not enough evidence exists for a suspension, than the driver is free to immediately get a new license from the DPS. If enough evidence exists, the driver’s license will be suspended for the period of time stated in the judge’s order.

Texas drivers may check the status of their license online on the Texas Drivers License Eligibility website. A warning to the user is that the website is usually months off.

ALR Hearing Request Form

There are 4 ways to request an ALR hearing-

ALR Fax Request

The first and recommended way is by fax. This provides the requester proof that the request was actually done if it gets lost in the system. Also, the hearing request and discovery request can be done at the same time.

ALR Phone Request

This can be time consuming waiting for an operator. There is also no proof in case the hearing is not input into the system.

ALR Mail Request

This needs to be done by certified mail in order to prove that the request was done in a timely manner.

ALR Online Request

The DPS has a website form to request a hearing. It is not the same place that a discovery request should be sent. It will only accomplish a hearing request. This would a workable method for a person at the deadline with no time to type out a request.

Sample Letter to request a Hearing

Below is a sample letter for an ALR hearing request combined with a discovery request. I fax this in to the required fax numbers. The earlier before the 15 day deadline the better.

ALR-and-discovery-request-eric-torberson

ALR Hearing Discovery

Once discovery is requested properly the DPS attorney has an ongoing duty to supplement the discovery within 5 days of when they get it. The discovery includes police reports, witness statements, blood and/or breath tests, or any other evidence they intend to use to prove the case at the hearing.

ALR Hearing Witnesses

If the driver or attorney for the driver wants the arresting officer(s) to appear a subpoena must be issued. There are procedures and timelines required to subpoena witnesses. These rules must be followed properly or the subpoena will not be enforceable.

How to Win and ALR Hearing

The quickest way to win an ALR hearing is to properly subpoena the arresting officer. If the witness does not show up to the hearing the witness’s affidavit and paperwork is not admitted into evidence. The DPS attorney has to show “good cause” on why the witness did not appear. The judge will base a ruling on whether the hearing should be delayed based on whether good cause is shown.

The DPS attorney has to prove that police had a right to stop, detain and arrest the driver. If it is not clear that the officer had a legitimate reason to stop the driver than the case for a driver’s license suspension cannot be proven.

Breath Test Records

According to Texas Administrative Code Section 159.151– “A defendant may request inspection, maintenance and/or repair records for the instrument used to test the defendant’s breath specimen for the period covering 30 days prior to the test date and 30 days following the test date. If the records are in the actual possession of DPS, DPS shall supply the records to the defendant within ten days of receipt of the request. If DPS fails to provide properly requested records after the defendant has paid reasonable copying charges for them, evidence of the breath specimen shall not be admitted into evidence.”

DPS must prove that the DIC 24 was read to the driver and breath and/or blood test was refused. For breath test failure cases a 15 minute observation period is required and both test scores blown need to be above .08.

If the driver consents to a blood test it may be over .08. This will result in an ALR hearing. The DPS must prove chain of custody with a sworn affidavit. The person who drew the blood must be a qualified technician according to 724.017 of the Texas Transportation Code. A licensed or certified emergency medical technician may not take a blood specimen unless authorized by the medical director of the entity employing the EMT.

The DPS will sometimes try and prove their reason for the stop by conclusory statements. These are not enough without explaining the circumstances.

Trying to win under these circumstances involves most likely a hearing in person. On a telephonic hearing the officer must call in on time or the DPS loses the case. But over the phone the driver loses the opportunity to cross examine the officer in person to thoroughly cover the important issues.

What Happens if I Did Not Get My Temporary Driving Permit?

It seems quite often that the arresting officer forgets to forward the DIC paperwork, including the temporary driving permit, to the jail. In this case, the driver or attorney will need to contact the arresting officer about getting the temporary driving permit. It will contain critical information needed to request the driver’s license hearing. If the information is missing the DPS will deny a hearing for the driver. The temporary driving permit is also needed to lawfully drive. It replaces the driver’s license for the time being.

Texas Suspension Periods

Suspension periods vary depending on previous issues with law enforcement. Also a Texas DWI is different than a Texas DUI. You can read more about the difference here https://www.erictorberson.com/dui-vs-dwi.

Conclusion

Winning an ALR hearing can be difficult for even a trained attorney. There are procedures that an attorney will know that most people are not aware of. If a person cannot afford to hire a lawyer, it would be wise to at least speak to me or another attorney and get some advice. However, it is better to try to win rather than not at all. Never lose hope and call me with any questions. Look at my main page for more information https://www.erictorberson.com.