How does the DMV determine I’m a Negligent Operator? We’ve all heard the adage that driving in California is not right…… It’s a privilege. More importantly, it is a privilege that can be taken away at the whim of a computer. That’s right. Once a person is issued a California Driver License, they come under the watchful eye of a powerful computer data base known as the Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS). This computer system rates the road worthiness of California Drivers by monitoring their driving history. If the computer likes a person’s driving history, they get to keep driving. If the computer does not like the person’s driving history, they are subject to the suspension or revocation of their driving privilege.
The computer analyzes a person’s road worthiness by monitoring such things as:
- Driving related arrests (i.e. DUI or driving on a suspended license).
- Too many citations for moving violations.
- Too many traffic accidents.
- Involvement in a “road rage” incident.
- Involvement in a fatality traffic accident.
- Involvement in a serious injury traffic accident.
If the NOTS computer identifies that a driver is a Negligent Operator or may soon become a Negligent Operator, it will generate a series of letters which either warn a driver to modify their driving behavior, or advise them that their driver license is being suspended.
What type of Negligent Operator letters may I receive from the DMV? If the Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) computer has focused on you as a problem driver, it generally will generate two types of letters which are mailed to the driver’s last known address:
- Courtesy Notice
- Order of Probation and Suspension
Courtesy Notice: This letter is generated when the NOTS computer identifies a driver who is rapidly accumulating too many citations or traffic accidents in a short period of time. Although this driver has not yet reached the threshold necessary to label them as a Negligent Operator, they are rapidly approaching that point. This type of letter clearly warns the driver that they should modify their driving behavior or risk the loss of their driving privilege. Basically this is the DMV firing a warning shot to get your attention.
Order of Probation and Suspension: If you have received an “Order of Probation and Suspension” from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), this means you have gone beyond the warning stage. This means the all-powerful NOTS computer has labeled you as a Negligent Operator and that the DMV has begun the process to take you off the road.
If you have received this type of letter, make no mistake, the process to suspend or revoke your driver license has already begun and you have to act quickly to turn it around. Failure to act is not an option. If you fail to react quickly and appropriately, the DMV will suspend your driver license without a second thought.
What must I do if the DMV thinks I’m a Negligent Operator? If you have received an Order of Probation and Suspension in the mail, that means the DMV has arbitrarily decided you are a Negligent Operator and that you must be taken off the road in order to protect the motoring public. This letter is not a warning…… it is a notice that the process has already begun.
If you have received such a notice, and if you’re driving privilege is important to you, then you must react quickly and appropriately. There is a requirement that the DMV be contacted within a specific period of time and if the department cannot provide you a hearing before the effective date of the intended suspension, they must extend your driving privilege until they do.
To properly protect your driving privilege requires that you schedule, prepare and conduct an administrative hearing before your local Drivers Safety Office. Known as a Negligent Operator Hearing, this is a full-blown evidentiary hearing where evidence is introduced, witnesses may testify and legal arguments are waged. This is much like a mini trial.
When the hearing ends, the possible consequences are:
- A complete suspension of your driving privilege for an indeterminate period of time.
- Termination of the intended driving suspension and placing the driver on driving probation.
- A complete “set aside” of the allegation. This is a total victory and similar to being found “Not Guilty” in a court of law.
A Negligent Operator Hearing can be an enormously frustrating process for the untrained person. The rules of evidence are difficult to understand and the Government Code requires that certain deadlines be met. Very few California drivers have the training or knowledge to properly conduct such a hearing; and if you don’t conduct your hearing correctly, it is likely your privilege to drive will be suspended.
Call the DMV Defense Experts at California Driver Advocates, Inc. We have been fighting and winning Negligent Operator hearings for many, many years. We have a proven method for preparing the evidence in your case to demonstrate that you really are a trustworthy driver. Our method of preparing your for testimony has proven time and time again that these hearings can be won.