Understanding Administrative License Revocation Hearings for DWI in Texas

If you have been charged with DWI in the state of Texas, the clock is already running on the ability of the charges to seriously impact your life. In Texas, individuals arrested for DWI must schedule an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing within 15 days of arrest. Failure to do so has an instant effect on one’s driving privileges, as the Texas Department of Public Safety will automatically suspend your driver’s license. Think about all the ways this might interfere with your day-to-day life. Do you drive to and from work? Drop off and pick up your children from school? Visit a loved one at a retirement community. Without a driver’s license, you will be unable to engage in these critical activities. Your very independence will be minimized. As you can easily see, you must take a DWI charge with the utmost seriousness. The first step is to retain an experienced Dallas DWI attorney to schedule an ALR hearing and aggressively fight to protect your driving privileges.

An Experienced Attorney Will Challenge The State’s Attempt To Meet The Burden Of Proof

At an ALR hearing, the state’s Department of Public Safety must meet the burden of proof for the DWI charge against you. This burden of proof exists to safeguard one’s constitutional right to due process of law. In other words, it would be inconsistent with our notions of justice if the state could revoke your license and subject you to penalties without proving that you did in fact drive while intoxicated. In Texas, the burden of proof at ALR hearing has been met when the Department of Public Safety proves the following 4 elements by a preponderance (majority) of evidence:

  • The officer that pulled you over had reasonable suspicion to do so or probable cause to arrest you for DWI. Reasonable suspicion and probable cause are synonymous, and, in the DWI context, exist when you have provided a valid Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) sample exceeding the state’s legal limit, had an open container of alcohol in your vehicle, were swerving across the road, and more.
  • Probable cause existed that you were the individual driving or in control of the vehicle in question. Obviously, if you were the only person in the car at the time of arrest, this element will be easy to meet.
  • You were given an opportunity to provide a BAC sample and informed both orally and in writing of the consequences of failing to provide one.
  • You refused to provide a BAC sample, or you did provide a sample, and the sample exceed the state’s 0.08% BAC limit.