We Fight License Suspensions at ALR Hearings
Will Getting Charged with DWI in Tarrant County Get My Driver’s License Suspended?
Yes, if you have been arrested for DWI or DUI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, you are now facing the very serious consequence of having your Texas driver’s license suspended. That’s why you need to hire an attorney experienced with DWI cases to defend you in the ALR hearing and fight to keep your driver’s license and driving privileges.
At the time of your DWI arrest, it is likely that a police officer provided you two documents: the DIC-24 and the DIC-25. The DIC-24 is a document that is given to every citizen arrested for DWI that spells out the statutory warnings and consequences for failing or refusing to take a breath or blood test ( failing in Texas means BAC of .08% or greater). The DIC-25 is a document, once given to you by a police officer, that triggers the administrative license revocation process (or license suspension after DWI).
Once you have been given the DIC-25 form, you only have 15 days from the date of being served this document to request an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing to save your license. Additionally, because the arresting police officer is likely to keep your Texas driver’s license, it is important that the DIC-25 should be kept with you at all times because it will serve as your temporary driving permit. The DIC-25 will operate as your temporary driving permit until 41 days after you have received it.
Texas’ Implied Consent Law in Relation to License Suspension for DWI
Texas is an implied consent state, meaning that when you sign papers to receive a Texas Driver’s License you consent to providing a sample for law enforcement if you are suspected of operating an automobile, boat, plane, amusement park ride, heavy machinery, golf cart, or even water skiing while intoxicated. As soon as you refuse to take a test, you set in motion the ALR process. According to the Texas Transportation Code §724.031 Statement Requested on Refusal, the law enforcement officer that suspects you of DWI has certain protocol to follow in the event of a BAC test or test to measure intoxication.
The first thing the officer will do is hand you a document (DIC-24) explaining the consequences of a breathalyzer refusal or blood test for BAC, Then the officer will ask you to sign a form (DIC-25) stating that the officer asked you to take a breathalyzer or blood test, that the consequences of refusing to give a sample for testing were explained, and that you refused to submit a sample when asked. Once the officer arrests you and turns in your signed statement acknowledging refusal, an ALR hearing is imminent.
What is the Purpose of an ALR Hearing?
According to a legal statute in the Texas Transportation Code, §724.015 (7) Information Provided by the Officer Before Taking Specimen, all ALR hearings must be conducted through the Texas Department of Public Safety (scheduled through the State Office of Administrative Hearings).
A different statute in the same section of the Transportation code defines conditions that, if not proven, would make you eligible for license reinstatement. According to Texas Transportation Code, §724.042 Issues at Hearing, the administrative judge must make a determination that all of the following are true, or your driver’s license must be reinstated.
If One of the Conditions Below are NOT True, You Are Eligible to Get Your Driver’s License Back
- The police officer must have had reasonable suspicion or probable cause to make the traffic stop before you were charged, otherwise the DWI stop was illegal;
- The police officer must have had probable cause to believe you were actually operating your vehicle in a public place while intoxicated (meaning over the legal limit of .08% BAC or under the influence of illegal drugs, a prescription medication, or over-the-counter drugs that impaired you to the point of intoxication;
- The arresting officer must have believed that you were boating while intoxicated (as described above) or operating another type of watercraft with a motor power of 50 horsepower or greater while over the limit or impaired;
- The police officer must have placed you under arrest and asked you to give a biological sample for testing your sobriety including a breath test or breathalyzer or blood test to measure BAC or the presence of drugs in your system;
- You must have refused to provide a biological sample for the arresting officer including a breath or blood test.
Your DWI ALR hearing will likely be held within 40 days of the date of your DWI arrest but you will not be required to attend. If you choose to retain one of our ALR Hearing Lawyers at The Hampton Law Firm, we will appear at the ALR hearing and challenge the legality of the stop, arrest and breath or blood request.
What Happens if I Don’t Request an ALR Hearing or Lose My ALR Hearing?
If you fail to timely request an ALR hearing, your license will be suspended. If the administrative judge rules that all the legal conditions regarding your DWI arrest were present, the judge will have no discretion as to the length of your suspension. An affirmative finding by the administrative law judge at your ALR hearing will trigger a driver’s license suspension for which the length of the suspension will be determined by whether your case was a DWI breath or blood test refusal, a DWI breath or blood test failure, or if there was any detectable amount of alcohol in your system while operating a motor vehicle in a public place (*applies only in the situation of a DUI, where the person charged is under 21 years of age).
Contact an ALR Hearing Lawyer Today
If you have been arrested for DWI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or surrounding cities in Tarrant County, call The Hampton Law Firm now to save your driver’s license from being suspended and ensure you have the opportunity to have your case heard before a judge at an ALR hearing. An experienced lawyer for ALR hearings like Jeff Hampton can help get your license reinstated and save your license if possible.