Case History: California Drivers Advocates was retained to represent a teenager whose driver license had been automatically suspended by the California Department of Motor Vehicles after the department received a Confidential Morbidity Report from an emergency room physician reporting that that she had suffered a Lapse of Consciousness.
Our 17 year old client is a young woman with a history of nearly perfect medical health. She carries a 4.0 GPA in school, is active in rodeo and donates a great deal of time to disabled children.
In August 2016, she was preparing to wash her car before going out for the evening. She grabbed her cell phone and walked out into a hot, clear summer day. Her dog followed her into an overheated garage and the next thing she knew, she was waking up in her bed. Evidently, she passed out in the garage and fell, striking her head on the concrete. Her younger brother found her recovering on the garage floor and assisted her into bed. We she regained full consciousness, she realized she was injured and called her parents who immediately transported her to a hospital.
Our client remained hospitalized for five days during which she underwent and entire series of exploratory tests in an attempt to discover what had happened. Blood work, urinalysis, two EEGs, a CT Scan and an EKG all proved her to be healthy. The doctors were completely perplexed. No one was sure what happened, but the lead physician determined it was his duty to report the event to the DMV.
DMV’s Position: The California DMV’s position is always crystal clear in cases like this. Because the information provided by the primary physician was that our client had suffered a “lapse of consciousness” it was presumed she posed an immediate hazard to the motoring public and the DMV immediately issued an order removing her from the road. Essentially the DMV presumed the worst and decided to shoot first and ask questions later. It was the department’s plan to hold our client’s driver license in suspension until they were convinced she was safe to drive.
Our Defense: When our client retained us, we immediately went to work to schedule her “Lapse of Consciousness” hearing with the Driver Safety Office in San Bernardino.
In this case, we knew our client has lost consciousness, but no one seemed to know why.
As is our normal practice, our defense began with an extensive interview with our client. It is imperative that we understand exactly who our client is and how she got to the point of suspension. A successful DMV hearing is often about presenting our clients as human beings with human frailties, but people who can be trusted to drive.
After our interview was complete, we prepared a comprehensive plan to collect valid medical evidence to demonstrate our client’s fitness to drive. Appointments were scheduled with her primary care physician and a pediatric neurologist. Additional tests were run and finally the consensus was that our client had suffered a fainting episode related to the heat and dehydration.
After weeks of preparation, we were ready to present our case. Years of experience in representing drivers has taught us to be prepared for anything. Because of this, our client was prepared for a written test, a vision test and a driving test if required. Fortunately, none of that was required; however, our client was prepared nonetheless.
We have also learned how critically important it is to prepare our clients for testimony. Because we have conducted scores of hearings before the same assigned DMV Hearing Officer, we were able to anticipate her cross-examination and prepare our client for that as well. Our direct examination of the client was so comprehensive and she testified with such genuine credibility that the Hearing Officer asked very few questions in cross-examination. As the hearing ended, the DMV Hearing Officer took the unusual step of announcing on the spot that she was satisfied with our presentation and would be terminating the suspension.
If the DMV is in the process of taking you off the road, call us today. We can help!
The DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates include Administrative Advocates, 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 or revoked because you suffer with a physical or mental disorder characterized by a Lapse of Consciousness or control, don’t despair. There are thousands of Californians with challenging medical conditions who drive every day because they can prove that they medically stable. Just because a person has diabetes, epilepsy or any other medical disorder, they may still be able to retain their privilege to drive.
These hearings can be won and you can be returned to driving. Let us get you there. Don’t let the DMV steal your driver license without a fight.