Case History: California Drivers Advocates was engaged to defend a client whose driver license had been summarily suspended by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV took an immediate suspension action against our client’s driving privilege after they received a Confidential Morbidity Report from his Primary Care Physician reporting a Lapse of Consciousness that resulted in a traffic accident.
Our 69 year old client had an extensive medical history that included being diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 2014. He had undergone surgery to repair a heart valve in 2015 and was also diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. All of these disorders are concerns for the DMV.
After retiring from a 29 career in the construction trades, our Client was very active. He was a motorcycle enthusiast and travelled extensively in his RV. He intended to enjoy his retirement years traveling and riding, so the suspension of his driving privilege was a tremendous blow to his freedom and his feeling of self-worth.
In June 2017, our Client was traveling with a friend. The two men were towing their motorcycles through the Midwest and had stopped in the State of Arkansas to do some motorcycle riding and site seeing. After taking a hike through some caverns, the two friends were riding their motorcycles back toward the motorhome when our Client was involved in an accident. As he was riding, he suddenly began to feel a muscle spasm in his left chest. The pain grew in intensity and before he could stop the motorcycle he “blacked out.” Our Client exited the roadway and crashed. He suffered a broken back, fractured sternum, broken ribs, punctured lung, broken jaw and his right foot and ankle were crushed. Paramedics responded and rushed him to the hospital where he remained for the next three weeks.
When our Client returned to his home in California, he went to his family doctor for a follow-up. When he told his doctor about the incident, the physician felt compelled to report him to the DMV.
DMV’s Position: The California DMV’s position was crystal clear. Because a physician’s report indicated that he had suffered a “Lapse of Consciousness” while driving, the department presumed that his diabetes was not controlled or that one of his other medical conditions has caused the crash. The department assessed that he posed an immediate danger to the public and immediately suspended his driving privilege and challenged us to prove that he was safe to drive. It was the DMV’s intention to keep our Client off the road forever, or until he proved his fitness to drive.
Our Defense: When our client retained us, we immediately went to work to schedule his “Lapse of Consciousness” hearing with the Redding Driver Safety Office. Because the DMV had already moved to an immediate suspension, there was no opportunity to request a “Stay of Suspension.”
Our defense began with a detailed interview of the client to determine his complete medical history and the details of what had occurred. We then embarked on a structured and focused path to collect affirmative medical evidence for our case. At our direction, our client met with his Primary Care Doctor, an Endocrinologist, Cardiologist, and an Optometrist. It was our goal to present valid medical evidence that there were no physical or mental conditions whatsoever that would prevent him from driving. We wanted to paint the picture that our client was a good and attentive diabetic patient who properly monitored his disorder and that his cardiac health and Sleep Apnea were stable. All of his physicians concluded that our Client had suffered an episode of syncope that was provoked by dehydration. There was no finding that any of his pre-existing conditions had caused his crash.
At the hearing, the hearing officer accepted all of our affirmative evidence without objection and considered the testimony of our client. Because we had worked so hard to prepare our client, he testified with great emotion and credibility which made our position clear. Our preparation was so complete that when it was time for the hearing officer to cross-examine our client, the hearing officer literally asked one question.
Just three days later, we received an Order of Set Aside or Reinstatement that terminated the suspension action and immediately returned our client to full driving privileges without restriction or medical probation.
Call CDA Today. Let us put you back on the road. The DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates include former police officers, DMV Hearing Officers, Investigators and Scientists. Our training, our experience and our reputation provide any driver the best opportunity to win their Administrative Hearing.
If your driver license has been suspended because you suffer with a physical or mental condition characterized by a Lapse of Consciousness or Control, don’t despair. Don’t let the DMV steal your driving freedom without a fight.