The Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program in Texas is a civil administrative process completely separate from criminal charges following arrests for driving while intoxicated (DWI). The Texas Legislature created the ALR program in 1993 to provide “a fair and efficient administrative hearing process” for proposed suspensions of the driver’s licenses of people accused of driving or boating while intoxicated should be upheld.
The ALR Program applies to individuals who fail blood, breath, or urine tests as well as people who refuse to submit to chemical tests. A driver who is arrested for DWI will be served a notice that his or her driver’s license will be suspended if he or she refuses to take or fails a roadside sobriety test (has a blood alcohol concentration [BAC] of 0.08 or higher), and the alleged offender has only 15 days from the date the suspension notice is served to request a hearing.
Lawyer for Administrative License Revocation in Brownsville, TX
If your driver’s license has been suspended because of a recent DWI arrest anywhere in the Rio Grande Valley area, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel right away. The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. defends clients arrested for drunk driving in communities all over Hidalgo County, Cameron County, and Willacy County.
Jonathan Gracia is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Brownsville who can use administrative hearings to subpoena and cross-examine arresting officers as well file motions for discovery that provide valuable information for the criminal cases. You can have our lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call 956-504-2211 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Cameron County Administrative License Suspension Information Center
- How are ALR hearings conducted?
- What are the possible lengths of revocation for alleged offenders?
- Where can I learn more about administrative license revocation in Brownsville?
Texas Administrative License Revocation Process
The Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) is responsible for the issuing and revoking a individual’s driver’s licenses in Texas. Arresting officers read TxDPS DIC-24 forms (Peace Officer DWI Statutory Warnings) to people arrested for DWI and inform the alleged offenders of the possible consequences of a refusal to submit to or failure of a breath or blood sample analysis. Refusing to submit to or failing a breath or blood test may also lead to a person being given a Notice of Driver’s License Suspension (TxDPS DIC- 25 form.)
Under Texas Transportation Code § 524.031, to have a hearing, TxDPS must receive a hearing request in writing, by fax (facsimile transmission), or by another manner prescribed by TxDPS by no later than 15 days after the date the person received the notice of suspension. An ALR hearing may be conducted with a live hearing or by conference call, and TxDPS is required to prove all of the required elements of an alleged test refusal or failure by a preponderance of the evidence—meaning that the individual “more likely than not” committed the alleged offense, a lower burden of proof than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard that applies in the criminal case.
Whether the alleged offender failed a chemical test or refused one will determine which crime TxDPS will be required to prove and, in turn, which elements. Under Texas Transportation Code § 524.035, the following issues must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence when the alleged offender failed a chemical test:
- Whether the person had an alcohol concentration of a level specified by Texas Penal Code § 49.01(2)(B) while operating a motor vehicle in a public place or while operating a watercraft; or
- Whether the person was a minor on the date that the breath or blood specimen was obtained and had any detectable amount of alcohol in the minor’s system while operating a motor vehicle in a public place or while operating a watercraft; and
- Whether reasonable suspicion to stop or probable cause to arrest the person existed.
Texas Transportation Code § 724.042 establishes that the issues at ALR hearings relating are as follows when people are accused of having refused to submit to testing:
- Whether reasonable suspicion or probable cause existed to stop or arrest the person;
- Whether enough probable cause existed to determine that the person was operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated or operating a watercraft powered with an engine having a manufacturer’s rating of 50 horsepower or above while intoxicated;
- Whether the person was placed under arrest by the officer and was requested to submit to the taking of a specimen; and
- Whether the person refused to submit to the taking of a specimen on request of the officer.
A hearing may be rescheduled if an individual cannot attend. TxDPS requires all continuance requests to be turned in at least five days before the schedule date of the hearing. TxDPS will only allow an individual to continue his or her hearing once unless he or she can show that a medical condition prevented them from attending rescheduled hearings.
If an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) finds that TxDPS did not prove all of the requisite facts by a preponderance of the evidence, the court will deny the petition and the agency will not be authorized to suspend or deny the license or disqualify the alleged offender from receiving a license.
Both parties have the right to appeal an ALJ decision, although Texas Transportation Code § 524.041(d) limits TxDPS’s right to appeal to issues of law. A person only has 30 days to submit an appeal request to TxDPS.
Administrative License Revocation Penalties in Brownsville
Texas Transportation Code § 524.021 establishes that a driver’s license suspension will take effect 40 days after the date that an individual received, or is presumed to have received, notice of a suspension. The length of suspensions depends on the ages of the drivers as well as their criminal records.
When an adult driver provides a sample with a BAC of 0.08 or greater, Texas Transportation Code § 524.022(a) establishes that the possible periods of suspension are as follows:
- 90 days if the alleged offender’s driving record shows no alcohol-related or drug-related enforcement contact during the 10 years preceding the date of the alleged offender’s arrest; or
- One year if the alleged offender’s driving record shows one or more alcohol-related or drug-related enforcement contacts during the 10 years preceding the date of the alleged offender’s arrest.
Texas Transportation Code § 524.001(3) defines “alcohol-related or drug-related enforcement contact” as meaning a driver’s license suspension, disqualification, or prohibition order under the laws of this state or another state resulting from:
- a conviction of an offense prohibiting the operation of a motor vehicle or watercraft while intoxicated; under the influence of alcohol; or under the influence of a controlled substance;
- a refusal to submit to the taking of a breath or blood specimen following an arrest for an offense prohibiting the operation of a motor vehicle or an offense prohibiting the operation of a watercraft, if the watercraft was powered with an engine having a manufacturer’s rating of 50 horsepower or more, while intoxicated; under the influence of alcohol; or under the influence of a controlled substance; or
- an analysis of a breath or blood specimen showing an alcohol concentration of a level specified by Texas Penal Code § 49.01, following an arrest for an offense prohibiting the operation of a motor vehicle or watercraft while intoxicated.
When an alleged offender is a minor, Texas Transportation Code § 524.022(b) establishes the following periods of suspension for DWI arrests stemming from BAC levels of 0.08 or more:
- 60 days for first offense;
- 120 days if the alleged offender has been previously convicted once of driving or operating watercraft under the influence of alcohol by minor, DWI, DWI with a child passenger, boating while intoxicated (BWI), or intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter offenses involving the operation of a motor vehicle or a watercraft; or
- 180 days if the alleged offender has been previously convicted twice or more of any of the offenses listed above.
Under Texas Transportation Code § 724.035(a), the possible periods of suspension are as follows, when an adult driver or a minor refuses the request of a peace officer to submit to the taking of a specimen:
- 180 days if it is the alleged offender’s first offense; or
- Two years if the alleged offender has one or more alcohol-related or drug-related enforcement contacts during the 10 years preceding the date of the person’s arrest.
Texas Transportation Code § 522.081(b) establishes that a person who holds a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or commercial learner’s permit will be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for one year if:
- he or she refuses to submit to a test to determine his or her BAC or the presence in the person’s body of a controlled substance or drug while operating a motor vehicle in a public place;
- an analysis of the person’s blood, breath, or urine determines that he or she had a BAC of 0.04 or more, or that a controlled substance or drug was present in the person’s body, while operating a commercial motor vehicle in a public place; or
- had a BAC of 0.08 or more while operating a motor vehicle, other than a commercial motor vehicle, in a public place.
Under Texas Transportation Code § 522.081(c), a CDL will be disqualified for three years if the alleged offender was transporting a hazardous material required to be placarded.
Cameron County Administrative License Revocation Resources
TxDPS | ALR Program — Visit this section of the TxDPS website to learn more about the ALR program. You can find information about occupational licenses, ALR hearings, and the ALR process. You can also learn more about reinstatement fees, requesting a hearing, and appeals.Texas Department of Public Safety – Brownsville Office
2901 Paredes Line Rd.
Brownsville, TX 78526
ALR Laws | State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) — The mission of SOAH is “to conduct fair, prompt, and efficient hearings and mediations, and to provide fair, reasoned, and timely decisions.” SOAH is an independent agency within the executive branch of the State of Texas that conducts hearings and mediations in response to referrals from more than 50 state agencies and governmental entities. On this website, you can learn more about location of hearings, issues decided at hearings, and appeals.
The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. | Brownsville Administrative License Revocation Defense Lawyer
Have you received notice of your license being revoked because of a DWI arrest in South Texas? You will want to contact The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. as soon as possible for help protecting your driving privileges.
Brownsville criminal defense attorney Jonathan Gracia represents individuals in Willacy County, Hidalgo County, and Cameron County. Call 956-504-2211 or complete an online contact form to have our lawyer provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.