Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) hearings are civil in nature and differ in several ways from the courtroom proceedings in a criminal matter. The hearings are more informal, and are decided by an Administrative Law Judge, rather than a jury. The standard of proof in these hearings is a “preponderance of the evidence (more probable than not); a much lower standard than the beyond a reasonable doubt” standard in criminal court. MVD conducts different types of hearings depending on the nature of the suspension or other contemplated action.
Administrative Per Se Hearing
Implied Consent Hearing
Negligent Operator “Points” Hearing
Medical Review Hearing
Reinstatement of Driving Privileges Following Suspension
Reinstatement of Driving Privileges Following Revocation
At MVD hearings related to DUI arrests, the officer is subpoenaed to testify and present evidence against the defendant. The defendant is entitled to be represented by counsel and is entitled to present evidence and dispute the charges and the officer's order of license suspension. Even if all officers appear, testify and prove their case, your license will not be suspended immediately after the hearing. If the Administrative Law Judge upholds the suspension of your license, then the suspension will usually begin 20 days from the date of the Order.
The MVD will take administrative action against your drivers license and/or privilege to drive in the State of Arizona separate and apart from the criminal prosecution for driving under the influence of alcohol. In fact, if you “refused” testing or provided blood, breath or urine samples showing an alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, the police issue a pink and a yellow copy of the “Administrative Per Se/Implied Consent Affidavit,” which explains you have only 15 days from the date the notice of suspension is served to request an MVD hearing. A.R.S. 28-1385(C). A timely request for a hearing postpones the suspension until a hearing is held. A.R.S. 28-1385(H). Conversely, should you fail to timely request an MVD hearing, the MVD will automatically suspend your driver's license for a period of 90 days if you submitted to the test and registered .08% BAC or higher, and for one year for a “refusal” to submit to testing.