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ALR hearings and D.W.I. prosecutions

There are essentially two parts to any D.W.I. arrest.  First, the citizen accused has the option of whether or not to provide a blood or breath specimen.  If the driver refuses a blood or breath test, then the Texas Department of Public Safety will suspend his/her driver's license a minimum of 45 days after the date of the arrest.

However, if an administrative license registration hearing is timely requested, then the suspension of the license is abated until the hearing.  At this civil hearing the department has the burden of proving beyond a preponderance of the evidence that there was a reason for the stop and probable cause for the arrest.

Whether or not the department is able to prove that has no bearing on the criminal prosecution.  Although the state has the burden of proving intoxication beyond a reasonable doubt, the result of the ALR hearing has no weight to carry in criminal court.  In legalese, that means that there are no collateral estoppel or res judicata issues between the civil and criminal aspects of a D.W.I arrest.

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