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There are a couple of common questions that clients ask me when it comes to ALR hearings. Among the top questions are, “What is an ALR Hearing,” and “why bother with an ALR Hearing?” In the following section, I will cover what ALR hearings are and their importance.
The Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program is a civil administrative process. The ALR Program applies to individuals arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and either refuse to take a breath or blood test or fail a blood or breath test.
Individuals who refuse or fail a blood or breath test following an arrest for DWI may have their driver license suspended between 90 days to 2 years. Refusal or failure of this test will also result in an automatic one-year disqualification for individuals with a commercial driver license.
Knowing this, an ALR hearing may be something for you to strongly consider requesting.
ALR hearings are civil in nature and cannot create any estoppel issues for the criminal charge arising from the occurrence that is the basis for the suspension or denial. So why bother? In many cases, you should expect to lose the ALR hearing. Therefore, how do you justify the expense and effort put into hiring a lawyer for these hearings? The simple answer is that it could potentially save your license.
In addition to trying to salvage your license, a significant reason to request this hearing is for your lawyer to get valuable discovery for your criminal case. With this hearing, your DWI lawyer will be able to get hard copies of the police reports, copies of maintenance logs for the breath test machine as well as sworn testimony from the police officer, the breath test operator and the breath test technical supervisor. Also, if lay witnesses are necessary to prove a necessary issue such as operation of a motor vehicle, these witnesses may also testify at ALR hearings. In addition, your lawyer can request a transcribed copy of their testimony which can become a valuable part of your lawyer’s trial preparation for the criminal case. Essentially, your DWI lawyer is given a chance to try the case well before it ever goes to court.
It is in your best interest to request an ALR hearing, but it is important to know that you have only 15 days from the date of your arrest to request one. So if you have been recently arrested for DWI, contact us today.