Applying for an Administrative License Revocation (“ALR”) hearing is an important step in defending against a Driving While Intoxicated (“DWI”) case in Texas. Unfortunately, many people miss their chance to get an ALR because they miss the deadline to apply (15 days from the date of arrest) or provide DPS with the wrong information. This guide is designed for those accused of DWI who need to request the ALR without the help of a lawyer, or pro se.
Step 1: Gathering Your Information
DWI arrestees are supposed to be provided with certain paperwork that contains all the information needed for an ALR request. The best piece of paperwork to use is the DIC-25, titled “NOTICE OF SUSPENSION, TEMPORARY DRIVING PERMIT.” This document contains everything you need to request a license hearing, including some instructions on how to make your request to fight your license suspension. It is a form created by Texas DPS for use by law enforcement all over Texas. They are required to give you a DIC-25 if they confiscate your license during a DWI arrest.
Unfortunately, not everyone arrested for DWI has the DIC-25. Sometimes officers forget to give it to clients and sometimes clients lose it. You also may not receive it if you don’t have a valid driver’s license at the time of your arrest. Whatever the reason, you need to make sure you have all of the information required by Texas DPS to grant you a license revocation hearing. The other places you can find this information include the police report (call the agency, sheriff’s office, or police department that arrested you), the place you were booked (magistrate’s office, justice of the peace, etc.), other paperwork you may have been provided (booking info, DIC-23 or DIC-24, etc.), and your own recollection.
The information needed is:
- Your Full Name
- Your Date of Birth
- Your Driver’s License Number and State that issued it
- Current Mailing Address
- Home and Daytime Phone Number
- Date of Arrest
- County of Arrest
- Arresting Agency (who did the cop work for?)
- Name of Arresting Officer (the cop who signed DIC-25 or a police report if no DIC-25)
- Whether a breath or blood test was:
- Consented to Voluntarily, or
- Not Requested
- If a breath or blood test was given, whether you Passed or Failed
- Do you want a hearing in person or by phone (in person is better, if possible)
If you submit a request without this information or answer the questions incorrectly, Texas DPS may reject your request. So, it’s important to give them the answers that they expect to see, EVEN IF YOU DISAGREE. For example, we often fight over whether or not our clients really refused to take a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) test in an ALR hearing. However, if DPS believes you refused, even if the officer never offered you a breath or blood test, then you should put “refused.” If the officer who signed the DIC-25 is not the guy who actually arrested you, then you should still use the name of the cop whose name is on the paperwork. Once you get an ALR hearing, then you can correct these mistakes, but if DPS has an excuse to reject your request, they will.
Step 2: Make The Request
In our office, we fax our ALR requests because we get a fax confirmation that our request was received. However, I recommend a different process for people who are making their own request. This is because if there is an error in a request sent by fax or mail, you won’t find out until after the 15-day deadline has passed. You won’t have a chance to fix those mistakes, your request will be rejected. If you use the DPS website to submit the request, there isn’t any confirmation that you can use to prove the submission. That means that if DPS’s website messes up, you won’t get a hearing.
However, if you call DPS and submit the information that way, the person taking your information will usually help you answer questions if they can. At a minimum, they will tell you right away if they think your request is defective. Since they don’t really give you a useful confirmation, however, you should call to help verify that your information is good but follow up with a fax and request a fax confirmation page from your fax machine. If DPS makes a mistake and claims that you never made a request or missed the deadline, you’ll have proof that you did everything you were supposed to have done.
If you will only use one method, use the phone. It’s too easy to make a mistake and get your request rejected. At least with the phone call, you should know right away if there’s an issue and you may have time to fix it.
- Call DPS with the required information: (800) 394-9913
- Fax DPS: (512) 424-2650
Step 3: Watch For Your Hearing Notice
DPS will send you your hearing information by mail if they grant your request. It normally takes 2-3 weeks but sometimes takes much longer. It also looks a bit like junk mail. So, if you haven’t seen the hearing notice in the mail after a few weeks, call DPS. If you’ve been rejected and didn’t find out until after the deadline, you’ll probably need a lawyer to fix the problem, but hopefully, you’ll have what he or she needs if you’ve followed Step 2. Keep an eye out for the notice and call DPS if you don’t get it within a few weeks of your request.
An example fax form requesting an ALR hearing is provided below. You may also visit the Texas Department of Public Safety website here. Once you’ve been given notice of your ALR hearing, you should give it to your lawyer immediately. ALR hearings are highly technical and involve a number of steps, such as serving subpoenas on the arresting officer(s), obtaining discovery (getting copies of DPS’ evidence), calculating and paying witness fees, among other things. You should use an attorney to handle the hearing itself and give your lawyer plenty of time to file the necessary paperwork.