Why is there an ALR hearing?
Many people are surprised by this: When you are arrested for a DWI there are two separate and distinct issues that arise. The ALR hearing and the DWI. The ALR hearing is a civil issue and the DWI is a criminal issue.
When you first acquire your DL, regardless of the State, you sign a contract which is evidenced by your signature under your picture. By signing the contract, you agree to abide by the Implied Consent Law. Essentially, you agree that you will provide a breath and/or blood sample, upon request, if you are arrested for a DWI. That State then agrees to provide you with a DL. That is the bargain. Built into the contract is a penalty. The penalty authorizes a police officer to confiscate your DL, not automatically suspend it, if 1) you provide a sample .08 or higher; or 2) you refuse to provide a breath and/or blood sample.
If either of those scenarios exist, the police officer that arrested you will confiscate your DL and provide you with the Driver Implied Consent (DIC) forms 23, 24, and 25. The DIC-25 provides 1) your temporary DL; and 2) instructions on how to proceed forward.
This issue is complicated and nuanced, which is why it is absolutely imperative you speak with an attorney as quickly as possible.
What is an ALR hearing?
The ALR hearing allows your defense attorney to fight to save your Texas Driver’s License (DL) or your privilege to drive on Texas roadways, if you have an out-of-state DL.
It seems obvious that saving your DL would be important, as everyone has a need to drive. However, another less obvious but more important reason exists. That is the ALR hearing allows your defense attorney to subpoena the officers involved in your arrest which allows them to cross examine those officers in a parallel testimonial evidentiary hearing. That means the ALR hearing is being recorded, which your defense attorney can get a transcript of. Sometimes the police officer being examined says something that is detrimental to the criminal case, which allows your defense attorney to take the ALR transcript to the criminal prosecutor who may be forced to dismiss your case based on what transpired at the ALR hearing. It is absolutely essential you give your defense attorney the opportunity to have this hearing, as not doing so may forgo you the opportunity to have your criminal case dismissed.
How does your attorney request an ALR hearing?
Your defense attorney only has 15 days from the date of arrest to file for an ALR hearing. If that occurs, your TX DL or privilege to drive on TX roadways will NOT be suspended, if at all, until the ALR hearing. If the request is sent after 15 days, an ALR hearing will not be granted. This has two effects: 1) you waive the opportunity to have a hearing, so your TX DL or privilege to drive on TX roadways will then be suspended after 40 days from the date of arrest; and 2) the opportunity to cross examine the police officers involved is gone which in turn forfeits the possibility of having your criminal DWI dismissed.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT COVID-19 WILL NOT ALLOW FOR AN EXTENSION OF THIS TIMELINE. THE 15 DAY RULE MUST BE ADHERED TO OR YOU WAIVE YOUR RIGHT TO HAVE AN ALR HEARING.
If you’ve been arrested for a DWI it is absolutely imperative to contact and hire an attorney within 15 days of arrests. The team at Stephen T. Bowling and Associates has a proven track record of getting DWI cases dismissed and saving the Driver’s Licenses of their clients. Call us today for a free consultation. 512-599-9000.