Case History: California Drivers Advocates was engaged to assist our client in fighting to restore his driving privilege which had been suspended as a result of a traffic collision. Our 87 year old client was involved in a traffic collision while from his home to a local park to practice Tai Chi. No one was injured but a sign post was damaged.
The responding Sheriff’s Deputy concluded that our client seemed disoriented and unaware of what had happened. As a result, the deputy prepared a “Request for Re-Examination” that was sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles suggesting that our client may have a physical or mental condition making him unsafe to drive.
When the DMV received the report from the deputy, they assumed the allegation to be true and they immediately suspended our client’s driver license.
DMV’s Position: The California DMV’s position was crystal clear. If the department receives a law enforcement referral, suggesting a driver may have a physical or mental condition which makes them unsafe to drive, the DMV will act first and ask questions later.
Normally, the suspicion of a physical or mental problem causes the DMV to call a driver in for a Re-Examination “Interview” to investigate the matter before they suspend a driver license; however, in this case the report from the law enforcement officer was so egregious that they DMV went straight to suspension.
Once such a suspension occurs, the driver’s privilege will not be reinstated until they prove their ability to safely drive. To make this happen, the driver must schedule, conduct and win a Re-Examination Hearing.
Our Defense: In this case, the secret to victory was a complete investigation, thorough preparation and professional representation. Through our investigation, we were able to discover that our client has been heavily involved in the practice of Tai Chi every morning for more than 17 years. On the morning of his accident, our client had awakened earlier than normal and headed out the door to his morning Tai Chi session. He was not yet fully awake when he began driving. He was still yawning and rubbing his eyes when his car drifted to the right and struck a sign pole. Realizing what he had done, our client was mortified by his actions and quite embarrassed. This caused him to appear withdrawn and confused when the deputy was questioning him and she mistook this as being disoriented.
Our defense included the collection and preparation of valid medical evidence to demonstrate that our client was physically and mentally safe to drive. Our client also attended an “on-line” Mature Driver Course and then we assisted him in preparing for a written test.
Finally, we took the time to prepare our client to face direct examination and cross-examination during the hearing.
Outcome: Entering the Re-Examination Hearing we were 100% prepared. We introduced all of our evidence, our client testified perfectly and our closing argument was dynamic.
At the end of the Re-Examination Hearing, the Hearing Officer made the extraordinary comment that he had no questions whatsoever because we had addressed every conceivable issue and that he really enjoyed the experience.
Two weeks later, we received notification that the Hearing Officer had ended the suspension action and returned our client to full driving privileges without restriction. Our client has regained his driving freedom and has resumed his passion for Tai Chi.
If the DMV is suspending your driver license, call us. We can help.
If the DMV announces that they have suspended or revoked your driver license without warning, you are entitled to fight. You have an absolute right to examine the evidence against you and to work to prove that evidence is incorrect. Everything the DMV does, however, is time sensitive. If you have received an Order of Suspension because of a physical or mental ailment, you may only have 10 to 14 days to schedule a hearing.
At California Drivers Advocates, we’ve seen every play in the DMV’s book. We know what they are doing and we know how to turn it around.