When the police arrest you for a DWI, they likely confiscated your driver's license. The police typically confiscate your license when you fail a blood or breath test to measure your blood alcohol content. The police will also confiscate your license if you refuse to submit to a blood or breath test.
When they release you from custody, the police will give you a pink paper that serves as notice of your license suspension and a temporary 40-day license. To appeal this confiscation of your license, you must request an Administrative Licensing Revocation hearing within 15 days of your arrest. If you request an ALR hearing, you can drive until your hearing. If you fail to request a hearing, your license will remain suspended until the court resolves your DWI case.
An ALR hearing is a separate administrative matter from your DWI arrest and is less formal than a trial. In many cases, the arresting officer may be the only witness at the hearing. Still, the state will need to show three things.
- Reasonable Suspicion: The police only stopped your car upon reasonable suspicion that you committed a traffic violation like speeding, improperly changing lanes, or failing to come to a complete stop.
- Probable Cause: The police must demonstrate probable cause for your DWI arrest, meaning it was more likely than not that you committed the alleged crime. The police can show this through their observations of you during your traffic stop, field sobriety tests, and portable breath test results if conducted.
- Blood Alcohol Content Level: The state must show that your BAC exceeded the legally allowable limit of .08% or .04% if you hold a commercial driver's license.
If the prosecutor can't show all three elements, the judge will reinstate your license. If the judge sides with the state, your license will remain suspended until your DWI trial.
RECOMMENDATION: Not all attorneys will agree to represent you at both your ALR hearing and your DWI in court. You need an attorney there to advocate for you at both the hearing and your DWI matter. Select an attorney with experience and the willingness to litigate ALR matters.