About Driver's License Hearings

The Driver's License hearing program, also known as the Administrative License Revocation hearing program or ALR hearing program, was created by the Texas Legislature in 1993 and became effective on January 1, 1995. The program provides a fair and efficient administrative hearing process for determining whether the proposed suspension of a person’s driver’s license by the Department of Public Safety should be upheld. Proposed driver’s license suspensions occur when a person has been accused of driving or boating while intoxicated (or in the case of minors, driving or boating with any detectable amount of alcohol in their systems).

Right to Counsel

At the hearing, the Department of Public Safety is represented by that agency’s attorney. The defendant (the person whose driver’s license is in question) may represent himself or herself or may employ an attorney. The administrative law judge will not appoint an attorney for the defendant. A party intending to employ an attorney should do so in enough time before the hearing date for the attorney to prepare for the hearing.

Examples of Issues Decided at an Driver's License Hearing1

Breath Test Refusal

Suspension for not less than 180 days

  • Was there reasonable suspicion for the peace officer to stop the driver?
  • Was there probable cause for the officer to believe the driver was intoxicated?
  • Was the driver offered the opportunity to provide a specimen of breath or blood?
  • Did the driver refuse to provide a specimen?

Breath Test Failure

Suspension for not less than 90 days

  • Was there reasonable suspicion for the peace officer to stop the driver?
  • Was there probable cause for the officer to believe the driver was intoxicated?
  • Was the driver offered the opportunity to provide a specimen of breath or blood?
  • Did the driver have an alcohol concentration above the legal limit?
Repeated offenses may result in longer suspensions.

Driver’s License Reinstatement

A driver whose license is suspended in a driver's license hearing will receive information from the Department of Public Safety concerning reinstatement of driving privileges. The license is not automatically reinstated after the suspension period is over. Therefore, it is important to carefully follow the instructions provided by the Department of Public Safety.

1The issues are different in cases involving drivers less than 21 years of age, for drivers of commercial vehicles, and for boating cases.

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