What is an ALR Hearing in Texas?

Attorney Trey Porter
Trey Porter

What is an ALR Hearing in Texas?


An ALR hearing is an administrative hearing where a person can contest a driver’s license suspension following a DWI arrest. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) pursues a driver’s license suspension whenever a person refuses to provide a breath or blood sample during a DWI or DUI investigation in Texas. DPS also pursues a driver’s license suspension if a person provides a specimen of breath or blood over the legal limit of 0.08. Learn more.

  • What does ALR stand for? ALR is the acronym for “Administrative License Revocation.” ALR in Texas is the process through which DPS suspends a person’s driving privileges because they refused to take a blood or breath test or their test yielded a result over the legal limit. ALRs involve the same facts as the underlying DWI case, but are unrelated to the actual court case itself.
  • What happens if you refuse a blood alcohol test in Texas? A blood or breath test refusal will result in the arresting officer confiscating your driver’s license and giving you a notice of suspension. This notice will also serve as a temporary driving permit for 40 days following the arrest. If an ALR hearing is not requested, DPS automatically suspends your license on day 41.
  • If you receive an ALR will your driver’s license be suspended? A person’s driver’s license will be suspended if they neglect to request an ALR hearing, or if they lose the hearing. Different factors will determine the length of suspension, such as any prior suspensions, and whether the person refused, or failed, a breath or blood test.
  • How long does a license suspension last in Texas? A first time ALR suspension for a refusal carries a 180 day suspension, while a second offense results in a 2 year suspension. For a blood or breath test failure, a first offense is a 90 day suspension and a second offense carries a 1 year suspension.
  • How long do you have to request an ALR hearing in Texas? An ALR hearing must be requested within 15 days after failing a breath test or refusing a breath or blood sample. A person who consents to a blood test will have a 20 day window to request a hearing after they receive a suspension notice in the mail.


A DPS attorney will first present reports or officer testimony that an individual was lawfully arrested for DWI, and they either refused to provide a breath or blood specimen when asked, or were over the legal limit. The individual can then present evidence in their favor, argue their position, and challenge the DPS evidence or testimony. Learn more.  

  • What to expect in an ALR hearing in Texas? DPS must prove a lawful DWI arrest, and that a blood or breath test was requested and either refused or failed. DPS has to prove this by only a very low evidentiary standard and these hearings are relatively short. Arresting officers frequently appear and are subject to cross examination. ALR judges expect very respectful decorum by all parties.
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Yes, it is possible to win an ALR hearing in Texas. DPS will sometimes submit incomplete or incorrect paperwork and officer testimony is often too vague for the judge’s liking. A skilled lawyer can also attack inconsistencies between the testimony and the reports to reveal legal holes in the case.

  • How do I get an ALR hearing dismissed in Texas? The most straightforward way to get an ALR dismissed is for a subpoenaed officer to fail to appear. Although this is not common, it does occur as DWI officers work nights and odd hours. ALRs are also dismissed when DPS submits deficient paperwork.
  • How do you win an ALR hearing in Texas? You win by establishing the police did not have reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop or probable cause for arrest. Officers often allege vague facts about driving that can be attacked for lack of specificity. Evidence of coercion may also be presented to counter the allegation of refusal.
  • What are the chances of winning ALR hearing in Texas? The chances of winning an ALR hearing in Texas are not great, primarily due to the low level of evidence required for a suspension. However, ALR should be contested in every case as they remain invaluable tools for defending a DWI. Learn more.
  • What happens if you win an ALR hearing in Texas? Winning an ALR hearing results in no driver’s license suspension. An ALR victory restores all previous driving privileges. DPS is required to return the confiscated driver’s license though it is most practical to request a duplicate either online or at a DPS field office.


ALR suspension is a driver’s license suspension resulting from a DWI arrest. If a person fails or refuses to give a breath or blood test DPS initiates suspension action against a person’s driving privileges. An ALR suspension goes into effect when a person does not contest the suspension or after an ALR hearing.

  • How do I get my license unsuspended in Texas? A Texas driver’s license may be reinstated after the ALR suspension ends. During the suspension period, a person can obtain an occupational license, which will allow them to drive legally during the period of suspension. Learn more.
  • What does ALR suspension failure mean in Texas? ALR suspension failure is a driver’s license suspension that results when a person submits a breath or blood test found to be greater than the legal limit of 0.08.
  • What is the ALR reinstatement fee in Texas? The fee to reinstate a driver’s license following an ALR suspension is $125.00 in Texas. This is what is known as the “ALR reinstatement fee.”
  • How much is it to reinstate your license in Texas? A person must pay a $125.00 reinstatement fee due to an ALR suspension. This fee is due whether a person failed to request an ALR hearing or requested a hearing and subsequently lost.


To appeal an ALR hearing, an appeal petition must be filed in a district or county court, and a certified copy of the petition must be sent to DPS. The appeal must be filed within 30 days or the ruling will be final.

  • How much does an appeal cost in Texas? The filing fees for an ALR appeal will vary between different counties but they typically range from $250.00 to $500.00.
  • What types of legal grounds do you have to appeal in Texas? You can appeal any ruling or finding by an ALR judge that is not reasonably supported by the evidence at the hearing. The appeal is premised entirely on the record from the hearing which means the appeal court cannot consider any new evidence.


DPS can impose indefinite driver’s license suspensions that are permanent until Texans comply with certain conditions. For example, those with civil judgments resulting from a car accident can have their driver’s license suspended forever unless they can submit proof they are complying with the judgment to DPS.

  • How long can your license be suspended due to an ALR in Texas? An ALR suspension can result in up to a 2 year driver’s license suspension for people with multiple offenses. Individuals younger than 21 are subject to suspensions ranging from 60 days to 2 years depending on prior offenses and alcohol level. Individuals with a commercial driver’s license will lose their CDL for one year on a first suspension, and for life following a second offense.
  • How long does it take to reinstate a suspended license in Texas? A dismissal of the DWI court case will restore all driving privileges. If there is no dismissal, an individual must wait until the suspension period expires and pay the ALR reinstatement fee of $125.00 to DPS.
  • How much does it cost to reinstate your Texas driver’s license? Driver license reinstate fees vary depending on the reason for suspension and a person’s driving and suspension history. It costs $125.00 to reinstate a suspended license following an ALR suspension.
  • What happens if you get pulled over with a suspended license in Texas? An individual driving with a suspended license can be cited with a class C misdemeanor or can even be arrested and charged with a class B misdemeanor if they have previous offenses or if the suspension was due to a DWI. DPS will also extend the period of suspension by 6 months. Learn more.
  • Can you drive with a suspended license in Texas? It is against the law to drive with a suspended license in Texas. Depending on the circumstances, an individual could be cited with a Class C misdemeanor and subject to a $500 fine. An individual with multiple violations or whose suspension was through a DWI could be arrested and charged with a class B misdemeanor and subject to a maximum fine of $2000 and a maximum 6 months in jail. A person who causes an accident causing serious bodily injury can be subject to a class A misdemeanor range of a maximum $4000 fine and maximum 1 year in jail.
  • Can I get an ID with a suspended license in Texas? Yes, a person with a suspended license can get an ID in Texas. This is encouraged as ID’s are a recognized requirement of everyday life. Learn more.
  • How do you get around with a suspended license in Texas? An individual can utilize public transportation, ride-sharing services, or taxi to get around with a suspended license in Texas. A person with a suspended license can also obtain an Occupational Driver’s License, which allows a person to legally drive a vehicle for necessary duties and responsibilities. Learn more.
  • Can you go to jail for driving with a suspended license in Texas? Yes, a person driving with a suspended license can be arrested and subject to a maximum 6 month jail sentence in Texas.


Trey Porter is a dynamic advocate, nationally recognized for his work in Criminal Defense. Voted by his peers as a best lawyer in the field of Criminal and DWI Defense every year since 2015, Mr. Porter is recognized as a Texas SuperLawyer, and distinguished as a Top 40 Under 40 Criminal Defense Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Porter holds a Superb rating from AVVO, where attorneys are rated based on skillful litigation, client satisfaction, peer endorsements, and positive results. Learn more.

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Attorney Trey Porter

Trey Porter

Trey Porter is one of the highest-rated criminal defense attorneys in Texas. Nationally recognized, Mr. Porter relentlessly fights to protect and assert his clients’ constitutional rights in and out of courtrooms across the state.


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