Likely the first thing you want to know is, what is an ALS or BAC hearing? An ALS hearing is an Administrative License Suspension hearing with the Department of Transportation. A BAC hearing is a Blood Alcohol Concentration Hearing by the Court.
If you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, you will be given the opportunity to do a breathalyzer test to prove whether or not you are under the influence of alcohol. If you take the breathalyzer and you blow a .08 or higher (.02 if you possess a CDL or are a juvenile) then you will almost certainly be placed under arrest for DUI.
When you are released you will be given paperwork and one of the instructions in small print is that you have seven (7) days to request an ALS hearing in writing and it must be received by the ALS Unit within seven (7) days. An attorney can help you submit this request in writing. At Robert R. Romero, Attorney at Law, PLLC we will help you even if we don’t have a consultation available before the seven (7) day deadline. Fax the request to the ALS unit with the Department of Transportation to ensure they receive it on time.
Why would you submit this request? For two reasons. The first is, you have a right to be heard, and on occasion, we get lucky, whether it’s a procedural error on the part of the officer, or another reason to fight the license suspension. The second reason is expediency in receiving the evidence against you.
By refusing a breathalyzer or blood drug test, the officer may still arrest you under suspicion of driving under the influence. At this point, the hearing regarding your driving privileges becomes a BAC matter. The Court will hear the BAC matter and not the Department of Transportation. A BAC Hearing has the same deadline as an ALS. You must submit your request in a pleading to the Court requesting a hearing date. At this point, you will have two cases with the Court, the BAC will be a civil matter and the DUI will be a criminal matter. Seek the help of a qualified attorney. A well-versed DUI attorney will be able to assist you with both.
If you are charged with DUI, two things to remember; 1) protect your rights, 2) Make your request for a hearing within seven (7) days.