Houston DWI Attorney Paul B. Kennedy
1415 North Loop West, Suite 102, Houston, Texas 77008
Tel: (713) 864-9727  Fax: (866) 587-2584
DWI Defense, Criminal Defense, Traffic Tickets, Family Law
Administrative License Revocation Hearings - FAQ

So, you were arrested for DWI?  What's next?

You have 15 (fifteen) days from the date of your arrest to request an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing on your
driver's license suspension.  If you fail to request a hearing your license will be suspended for 90 days (if you blew over a
.08) or for 6 months (if you refused to blow) starting on the 41st day following your arrest.

What's an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing?

At an ALR hearing, the DPS will seek to have an administrative law judge suspend your license for either blowing over a .08
or for refusing a breath test.  However, you have the right to subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance at the
hearing.  This gives you the opportunity to question the officers (and the State's breath test expert) under oath before going
to trial. The DPS lawyers don't work for you, their job is to get your license suspended. You need an
experienced DWI
attorney
to defend your rights.

Should the DPS fail to meet its evidentiary burden, or should the subpoenaed witnesses fail to appear, the judge will deny
the DPS' request to suspend your license.

Who oversees the ALR hearings?

The State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) is in charge of the ALR program.  There are SOAH locations throughout
the State of Texas, including one located at 2020 North Loop West, Suite 111, Houston, Texas.

What is the DPS' burden of proof at an ALR hearing?

The DPS must show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that there was either reasonable suspicion to detain or probable
cause to arrest you.  In addition, if you are charged with blowing over a .08, the DPS must prove that a valid breath test was
administered.  If you are charged with refusing a breath test, the DPS must prove that you were offered a breath test and
that you refused to comply with the officer's request.

The DPS burden is very low and the process is stacked against the accused. You need a
DWI lawyer to ensure your rights
are protected.

Why should I challenge the license suspension?

An ALR hearing is an excellent opportunity for a DWI attorney to conduct pretrial discovery in a DWI case.  The DPS will
have to produce the Sworn Officer's Report (DIC-23) that the arresting officer filed as a result of the arrest.  Also, since the
officers, who are under oath, generally haven't reviewed their testimony with the prosecutor handling the case, a good
DWI
attorney
can lock them into a story at the ALR hearing and then use that transcript to impeach the officers at the DWI trial.  
An ALR hearing also affords an
experienced DWI lawyer the opportunity to discover facts not apparent in any of the
paperwork produced by the officer.

The ALR hearing also allows a good
DWI attorney to find out what the State's breath test expert is going to testify to at trial.  
Having a sworn statement from the prosecutor's expert witness makes it easier to cross examine that witness at trial.

How hard is it to win an ALR hearing?

Since the burden on the DPS is so low, winning an ALR hearing can be difficult.  You need the assistance of an
experienced  DWI attorney to stand a fighting chance against the DPS.  

How long will it take to schedule my ALR hearing?

It generally takes 2-3 months for SOAH to schedule your hearing.  However, once you've requested your hearing, your
license will remain valid until the hearing (unless you plead to the DWI prior to the ALR hearing).

What if I lose at my ALR hearing?

If the judge determines that the DPS has met its burden of proof, then your license will be suspended beginning the date
the order is signed.  Should your license be suspended as a result of an ALR hearing, if you wish to obtain an occupational
driver's license, you must petition the County Court at Law in either the county of your residence or the county in which you
were arrested. You need an
experienced drunk driving attorney to get you through the process.

Houston DWI Attorney Paul B. Kennedy will handle your ALR hearing and, should it be necessary, file the necessary
paperwork for you to obtain an Occupational Driver's License.  Too many attorneys view the ALR hearing as a waste of time
and fail to take advantage of this opportunity to gather both evidence, and ammunition, for use at the DWI trial.

Houston DWI Lawyer Paul B. Kennedy believes the ALR hearing can be the foundation to beating the state at trial, clearing
your name and restoring your reputation.
Houston DWI Attorney Paul B. Kennedy defends citizens accused of drunk driving and other crimes in Houston,
Galveston, Conroe, Sugar Land, Richmond, Missouri City, Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County,
Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Waller County , Walker County, Austin County, Polk County, Jackson County,
Fayette County and Colorado County.