Utah DUI Driver’s License Hearings by Telephone

Jamie Spencer from Austin Texas wrote about ALR hearings and discussed the issue of whether your attorney should do the hearing live in person or by telephone. For a Utah DUI driver’s license suspension hearing, we have the option of showing up in person or by telephone. However, the Utah Driver’s License Division has recently negated in Utah all of the valid reasons that Jamie mentions for a Texas ALR hearing. Jamie’s main point is that this is a wonderful opportunity to cross examine the officer and to get him on record. Beginning May 2007, the Utah Driver’s License Division has interpreted the DUI Driver’s License Hearing as being an informal hearing, which does not allow a person to cross examine anyone. The outline of the hearing has now turned to the following:

  • The Hearing Officer asks if all parties are present.
  • The Hearing Officer reads a brief statutory statement stating the rules of the hearing, the consequences, and the reason for the hearing.
  • The Hearing Officer will ask the arresting officer to tell his story. It is one sided and nobody can or will contest the officer’s version of the facts of a person’s arrest.
  • Then, the only way to rebut the officer’s testimony is to have the arrested person testify.
  • After the person testifies, the Hearing Officer will allow closing comments from the arrested person or his attorney. 
  • The hearing closes with the Hearing officer telling the person a decision will be mailed out within just a couple of weeks.

The arresting officer is permitted to phone in his testimony. There is no cross examination. Believe it or not, I have won several of these hearing and they were done by telephone. If I lose these hearings, and I see problems with the Officer’s case, I will file an appeal to the District Court. I totally agree with Jamie’s article on ALR hearings because he has the right to cross examine the witness. In Utah’s jurisdiction, the right does not exist. That’s bad. We get a whole new trial on appeal with the District Court. That’s good. I encourage the attorney’s to use the appellate process. My success rate goes way up when I file an appeal on the DUI Driver’s License Hearing.

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