You must request a hearing date for a DOL hearing within 20 days from the date of your arrest. to fight the administration suspension. A failure to request this hearing within 20 days will result in forefiting your ability to challenge the administration suspension. Once requested you and your attorney will be notified of the hearing date and time as well as a copy of the arresting officer's police report (known as exhibit 1). The administrative hearing can be continued for a maximum of 150 days from the date of arrest. DOL hearings are presided over not by a judge in a court of law but by a hearing examiner. The hearing is conducted telephonically.
What Issues are Resolved at the Administrative Hearing
There are four issues to be decided at a hearing. Because these hearings are considered civil in nature, the burden of proof is merely a preponderance of the evidence. This means is it more likely or not that the four questions or issues have been proven(50.1% v. 49.9%)
The four issues to be resolved at the hearing are:
1) Was it a lawful arrest?
2) Did the arresting officer have reasonable grounds to believe the driver was DUI?
3) Was the driver properly advised of his rights and warnings pursuant to the implied consent law?
4) Was the driver breath or blood indicate a reading over the legal limit or did the driver refuse the chemical test?
The administrative hearing is all or nothing. Were the four legal issues listed above met by a preponderance of the evidence or were they not? If they were, then the hearing examiner "sustains" the DOL action and the driver loses their driving privilege. If the four issues were not all met. The hearing examiner dismisses the DOL action.
What Else do I Need to Know
If you prevail at the DOL hearing and the hearing examiner dismisses the DOL's action and the driver preserves their driving privilege you will still face a possible license suspension based upon the outcome of the criminal charge.
If you apply for an Ignition Interlock License you will lose your right to challenge your DOL license suspension at an administrative hearing.
Unless requested by the driver, the arresting officer is not required to give testimony at the administrative hearing. Rather he will submit a sworn report which will be admitted into evidence.
It is imperative for a person facing an administrative suspension or revocation to immediately consult with an attorney to discuss their case and the best manner to fight and preserve their driving privilege.