You Only Have 15 Days to Save Your License!
Being arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated is frightening. For many, it is the most frightening situation that they will ever face. What many people don't realize, however, is that when arrested for a DWI, they are not only face one case but two independent and entirely separate cases. One of these cases is the most commonly known and will deal entirely with the question of your guilt. The other, however, is equally important and can have a significant and immediate impact on your life. In fact, the other case makes it so that you only have 15 days in which to act after arrest. If you don't, you could lose your license.
About the ALR Hearings in Texas
In the state of Texas, after you have been arrested for a DWI, you will be given a "Notice of Suspension." This is a sheet of paper which, according to §524.014 of the Texas Transportation Code, must explain the grounds for the suspension of your license; the date that the suspension will become effective and the fact that the person receiving the notice has rights to a hearing. It must also explain how the person receiving the notice may go about requesting the hearing, as well as how long they have to request it. In almost every case, this notice will be served to you at the time of the arrest. It will also have a double purpose in that it will serve as a temporary driving permit as the officer will likely confiscate your license.
From the moment you receive this notice, you will have 15 days to schedule your administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing. If you do not schedule this hearing, you will essentially forfeit your right to fight for your driving privileges and will be forced to live with the aftermath of the suspension. If, however, you are interested in scheduling your hearing, you will need to call, fax or send the request in writing to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Driver Improvement Bureau. Whichever form of communication that you choose, you will need to include specific information, including the following:
- Full name;
- Date of birth;
- Driver license number;
- Current mailing address;
- Home & daytime numbers;
- Date & county of arrest;
- Arresting agency & officer; and
- Whether test was failed, refused or not requested.
You will also need to specify whether you would like to have your hearing in person or whether you would like to have it over the telephone should be including within this correspondence. If this is received within 15 days of the time you received the notice, you will be notified of the date and time of your hearing. It is important to recognize that this is a civil hearing that is not related in any way to the proceedings of the criminal court. It will not deal with the question of guilt, but instead the details of the arrest itself. If you proceed in the ALR hearing and your license is reinstated, you will need to pay a fee of $125.
How long could my license be suspended for?
If you are dealing with an ALR hearing, it is because you are at risk of having your license suspended. You, therefore, likely have a lot of questions about just how long this suspension could be for. If you are an adult over the age of 18 and have refused to submit to a breath or blood test after being lawfully arrested, you will be facing a 180 day suspension for the first offense. If you had previously has your license suspension for a DWI test refusal or if you had previously been convicted of DWI, intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter within the previous 10 years, it will be enhanced to two years.
If you submitted to the breath or blood test and were found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.08 percent, you will be facing a 90 day suspension for a first offense. If you have previous convictions or previous refusals on your record, you will be dealing with a suspension for one year. It is also important to note that suspension periods will be entirely different for minors who under 21 years of age. For a minor who submitted to the test and had any detectable amount of alcohol in their system, they will be facing a 60 day suspension for the first offense, 120 days if there is a previous conviction or refusal on your record and 180 days if there are two previous convictions on your record.
Contact the Martinez Law Firm today!
In the aftermath of a DWI arrest, it is extremely important that immediate steps are taken to protect your legal rights. At the Martinez Law Firm, we have over 15 years of experience that we are ready to put to work for you. We know how to navigate through the criminal and civil hearings and ready to help you protect your rights and your driving privileges. If you have further questions about the ALR hearing and how our firm can benefit you in the time leading up to it, you should not hesitate to contact us as soon as possible. We know the importance of immediate action and will start work immediately to help you request this hearing.