Preparing for an ALR Hearing
Complicated tasks take preparation to complete. Preparing for an ALR Hearing is no different. But the first thing to take into consideration is whether there was a Breath/Blood test refusal or failure. This first consideration will give you a road map for preparing for an ALR Hearing.
Breath Test Refusal
First, we start with reason for the officer’s stop.
1. Was there reasonable suspicion to stop the driver? 2. Did the officer have probable cause to believe the driver was intoxicated and then arrest? 3. Did the driver have to opportunity to provide a specimen of breath or blood? 4. Did the driver refuse to provide a specimen?
Breath Test Failure
1. Was there reasonable suspicion to stop the driver? 2. Did the officer have probable cause to believe the driver was intoxicated and then arrest? 3. Did the driver have a concentration of .08 or higher while operating the motor vehicle?
Following a DWI arrest, has a time requirement of when to request a ALR Hearing. Essentially this is where preparing for an ALR hearing begins. After the request, a request must also be made to DPS for “Discovery.” Discovery includes the police reports, video/audio of your interaction with the officer, and warnings given to you by the officer. The police report or offense report contains the details of your interaction with the police. Even if you don’t remember the stop, carefully reviewing the report can give you a wealth of information.
First, the officer needed reasonable suspicion to stop the driver. Examples of this are traffic violations (speeding, running a red light, swerving all over the road etc…). If the stop was based on speeding then the officer pulling you over was probably justified. Next, the field sobriety tests help the officer to determine whether there is probable cause to believe the driver was intoxicated. The officer must give the driver demonstrations and instructions about the field sobriety tests. Officers are taught how to administer these tests and are required to follow their training. If field sobriety tests are administered incorrectly, it may result in a finding that the officer did not have probable cause to believe you were intoxicated.
The last step is whether there was a refusal or failure. This lets you know what you have to challenge at the ALR hearing. If there was no breath or blood sample given, there can be no failure. However, if there was a failure, the breath test machine must be in proper working order and properly calibrated. The same holds true for tests of blood samples. Procedures and protocol must be followed in labs to ensure reliability of blood tests. Faulty equipment and improper procedures can result in inaccurate blood alcohol results.
Preparing for an ALR Hearing can be complicated and stressful. However, careful preparation and planning will give you the greatest possible chance of having your license reinstated and avoiding a suspension.
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.