An Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing is the forum used to determine if your driver license should be suspended, because you were either arrested for Driving under the Influence (DUI), or refused to submit to breath or blood tests after being stopped for a DUI. You only have 15 days to request an ALR hearing, starting from the day you were arrested and received written notice that your license would be suspended.
If you fail to meet these time limits, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended. Suspensions can range from 90 days to two years depending on whether you:
- “Failed” a breath/blood test
- Refused to take a breath/blood/chemical test
- Have any prior offenses within the last 10 years
At the ALR hearing, the police officer or law enforcement officer must show that he or she had a reasonable suspicion that you were driving while intoxicated. Law enforcement must also prove that you either refused the test or that you failed the test.
A skilled Killeen DUI defense lawyer may contest the license suspension in the following ways, depending on whether the basis for the suspension is a failed test or a refusal:
- Asserting that law enforcement has the burden of proving its case. If the police officer can’t prove the specific charges, then justice demands that you be permitted to keep your license.
- Questioning the police officer’s right to stop you. Police officers can’t stop you just because of the color of your skin, because of the type of car you drove, or for any other arbitrary reasons. They must prove you committed a traffic violation such as speeding, running through a red light, swerving, or following too closely; or that your car exhibited an equipment failure such as a broken head light; or your vehicle registration had expired.
- Questioning whether the police officer explained the consequences for failing to submit to a breath or blood test. Officers should tell you that your license will be suspended if you don’t take the test. This is a statutory requirement. There is a standard form that police officers must read to you to explain your rights before you decide whether to provide a sample of your breath or blood.
- Contesting the validity of the test results. Your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) must be .08 or more or .04 or more if you are a commercial driver. The officer must have appropriate records showing you had a high BAC level. Skilled defense lawyers will ask to obtain Department of Public Safety (DPS) records regarding maintenance of the breath machines for the period 30 days before and 30 days after the test date.
- Contesting the Field Sobriety Tests. The officer usually administers three tests: the HGN vision test, the walk and turn test, and the one-legged stand tests. The officer must be trained and certified to administer these tests. The officer usually conducts the test on the roadside. The officer must demonstrate the tests correctly and many factors determine whether the driver performed the tests correctly such as the weather, road conditions, and the driver’s health and weight.
- A reasonable explanation. Showing that you had a valid reason for refusing the breath or blood test, and the field sobriety tests, like a medical condition, may work in certain cases.
A skilled Killeen ALR defense lawyer can help increase the ability to win your hearing. Don’t go it alone. There are many legal and factual arguments that can be asserted. You need your license to get to work and to provide for your family. Time is critical in ALR cases, so call Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm today at 254-680-4655 or use our contact form to make an appointment. We have offices in Killeen, Waco, and Copperas Cove.