If you have been arrested for Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), there is little surprise that you will be processed through criminal court. However, there is a lesser-known administrative portion of a DWI or BWI arrest: the suspension or disqualification of your license through the Administrative License Revocation Program. An Angleton Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing lawyer can help you understand this process.
It is vital that you reach out to an experienced ALR hearing lawyer as soon as possible following a DWI or BWI arrest. There is a small window to file for a hearing, and this hearing will be a deciding factor in whether you keep your license. The skilled team with the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, can help give you the strongest opportunity to succeed in this hearing.
The Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program is the civil portion of the penalties that can arise if you are charged with Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). This program requires the Department of Public Safety to suspend or disqualify your license when you:
If you choose to take the blood or breath test as requested by law enforcement, you will not be given the notice until the results have returned as being greater than the legal limit. However, if you refuse to take the blood or breath test, your license will be automatically suspended and/or disqualified.
These penalties are unrelated to the criminal court proceedings for DWI or BWI and will automatically apply unless you request a hearing. The hearing must be requested within 15 days of being served the notice of suspension or disqualification or within 20 days of being mailed the notice. Once a hearing has been requested, the Department will respond with a letter that states the date, time, and location of your requested hearing.
If you fail to request a hearing, the suspension/disqualification will go into effect 40 days following the receipt of the notice if issued by the officer at the time of the offense or 40 days following the presumed receipt if the notice is mailed. The request will be denied, and the suspension or disqualification will also go into effect on this timeline if the request for a hearing is completed after the 15-day limit.
The ALR hearing will be conducted separately from any criminal trial that may occur in your case. Your main goals during the hearing are to cast doubt on the prosecutor’s position and create persuasive arguments in your defense. There are numerous ways to accomplish this, but common methods include:
Even if you are unable to completely challenge the suspension of your license, you may be able to request an occupational license that permits you to drive to work, school, and perform essential household duties. You could also be issued a restricted license that permits you to drive with an interlock device installed in your vehicle.
A: You are given 15 days after receiving the notice of suspension or disqualification to request an ALR hearing. You may be given the notice at the time of the arrest or in the mail after your test results come back. If you do not request the hearing within 15 days, the request will be denied.
A: In Angleton, Texas, the implied consent law states that operators of motor vehicles must automatically consent to chemical testing. The officer will determine whether the test is blood- or breath-based. The implied consent law does not mean that the officer can force you to take the test but that there will be consequences if you refuse the testing.
A: The exact questions asked during an ALR hearing will vary, depending on the situation and the individuals present. An experienced ALR hearing attorney can help you prepare for questions that may arise during your hearing, but common questions will pertain to your driving history before the arrest, your behavior during the traffic stop, and whether you were advised of your rights.
A: It is generally recommended that you retain an attorney any time you are arrested to ensure that your rights are protected. An attorney can also help explain the process and effectively navigate the system. An ALR hearing attorney can be especially valuable, as they can be critical to ensuring that you retain at least the partial use of your license.
Being able to drive is central to surviving for many Americans. The Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, stands ready to help you retain your license following a DWI arrest. Our experienced team can offer judgment-free support to help you move past this, regardless of your innocence or guilt. To get started on your defense strategy, reach out to our office today.