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Texas ALR: License Hearing

In Texas, when you get arrested for a DWI, there is also automatically an ALR (administrative license hearing) concern. What is an ALR? What is an occupational driver’s license? Getting a DWI is very stressful and scary. What is very important to understand is that unlike other criminal cases, a DWI involves two actual cases: a civil case, known as the administrative license hearing (“ALR”) and a criminal case, the DWI charge. The Coffey Firm handles all aspects of the DWI as well as the ALR/license process.


  1. They took my driver’s license when I got arrested for DWI. Does this mean I can’t drive?   The answer is complicated depending on when you got arrested. If a proper request for an ALR hearing was made, was the results of a consent blood draw mailed….? If timely and proper steps are made (we handle this), then the plan is to get you a legal license if your license gets suspended.
  2. What is an ALR hearing? Do I have to have one? Texas courts have determined that a driver’s license is a privilege and not a right. Yet before this privilege can be taken away there must be due process. The ALR hearing is Texas DPS’s process to legally take away your Texas driver’s license. This is handled in a separate court from the criminal court. The State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) is responsible for these hearings. Our office handles all aspects of these hearings including the requests, subpoeanas, discovery and actual hearings. There is no need for the citizen accused to show up to these hearings unless advised to (on rare occasions we will have a need for our client to show up). More details on each section of the ALR process can be found in SOAH’s ALR manual here.
  3. If I lose my driver’s license in the ALR hearing, or have missed my right to have a hearing, can I get a driver’s license? Having a driver’s license is critical to most people. The law understands this and there are ways to get an “occupational driver’s license” if your actual Texas driver’s license is suspended. We will advise you of the many complex options. There are restrictions and requirements for an occupational license. This is a civil process suspension (not a criminal conviction, as this type of occupational license is completely different).

Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD, who has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks and is a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.