Administrative License Revocation (ALR)
In Texas, Administrative License Revocation (ALR) is a process by which an individual who has been arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) has his or her driver’s license administratively suspended. This program became effective September 1, 2003, and it is administered by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) (http://www.dps.texas.gov)
A suspension can occur from either 1) the refusal to submit to a chemical test (breath or blood) or 2) the taking a breath test and failing it; that is, having the results of the test be at or greater than 0.08% blood alcohol when a breath test is administered. This blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% applies to all drivers, but a lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is applicable to underage drivers (minors) or any driver operating a commercial motor vehicle. DPS is authorized to suspend the drivers license of minors who commits the offense of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) as well as individuals who refuse to provide a specimen following an arrest for the offense of Boating While Intoxicated (BWI). The statutes concerning ALR suspensions are found in the Texas Transportation Code, Chapters 524 and 724, respectively.
The administrative license suspension process usually begins when a law enforcement officer determines that there is reasonable suspicion for an initial traffic stop of a motorist. If the officer has reason to believe that the driver is impaired, he or she will generally administer field sobriety tests. If the driver performs poorly, the driver is arrested for DWI and transported to the police station. At the station, the officer will read to the driver a “Statutory Warning” and then a request is made that driver submit to a breath or blood test to measure his/her blood alcohol concentration. If the driver refuses to provide a specimen or provides a specimen with an alcohol concentration at or greater than 0.08, the officer serves a notice of suspension and confiscates the driver’s license.
Procedures for handling minors vary slightly. A law enforcement officer must have reasonable suspicion to conduct a traffic stop. However, a full custodial arrest is not required. Once the officer determines that the individual is under 21 years of age and has reason to believe that he/she has consumed alcohol (any detectable amount of alcoholic beverage will do), the officer may issue the driver a citation for DUI, serve the notice of suspension, and confiscate the driver license. The minor may or may not be placed under arrest and a chemical test may or may not be requested. The officer may proceed with a custodial arrest procedure if he believes the individual is seriously impaired.
As above, the driver has fifteen (15) days from the date of the notice of suspension is served to request a hearing.
If no hearing is requested, the suspension will automatically go into effect on the 40th day after notice was served. The period of suspension is 90 days to a year, depending upon the existence of prior alcohol related contacts; if a refusal to submit to testing is involved, the periods are 180 days to two years. Minors face suspensions of 60 to 180 days.
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Texas DWI Lawyer Chris Dorbandt
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- I have been handling DWI cases regularly since 1998.