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DMV Win at a Lapse of Consciousness Hearing at the San Diego DSO 2

Case History

California Drivers Advocates was retained to represent a client 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 who reported she had suffered a Lapse of Consciousness while driving.   Assuming the doctor’s report to be accurate, the DMV assumed the worst and moved to immediate suspension of the driver license without any further investigation.

Our 55 year old client is a relatively healthy woman who suffers with recurring Migraine Headaches.  She also had a previous diagnosis of Depression and Anxiety.  All of her medical disorders were stable and well controlled by medications.  She is employed as a Service Representative for a car rental agency and therefore driving is a critical element of her job.

In early September 2017, our Client was driving to work in the area of Carlsbad.  As she was driving on a two-lane roadway, her attention was drawn to a large utility truck that was approaching her in the opposite direction.  As she watched the truck, it suddenly swerved into her lane about to cause a head-on collision.  Our Client reacted quickly enough to avoid the collision but in doing so, her car left the roadway and rolled.  She was knocked unconsciousness in the accident.  Her next clear recollection was waking up in an area hospital.  All testing revealed that she had no medical anomalies; however, the emergency room physician reported her state of unconsciousness  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 emergency room physician indicated our Client had suffered a Lapse of Consciousness while driving, they assumed it must have been caused by some underlying medical disorder.  The Department ordered the immediate withdrawal of her driving privilege and challenged us to show them why that was not warranted. The fact that our Client’s driving record was spotless for years did nothing to calm the DMV’s fear.  In issuing the Order of Suspension/Revocation, it was the department’s plan was to keep her license in a status of suspension forever, or until such time as she could prove her fitness to drive.  The DMV would require medical evidence and testimony establishing that she was stable.


Our Defense

When our client retained us, we immediately went to work to schedule her Lapse of Consciousnesshearing with the Driver Safety Office in San Diego.

As is always the case with our clients, our defense plan began with an extensive interview so we could learn virtually everything about the person we were representing.  A successful hearing requires us to present our client as a person with human frailties who is committed to public safety.  Once we fully understood our client, we embarked on a structured plan to collect affirmative medical evidence.

Our client was evaluated by several medical professionals to address a wide range of issues from general medicine to Neurology.  We had our Client collect medical evidence to establish that her Lapse of Consciousness was caused by the accident; not that the Lapse of Consciousness caused the accident.

After two months 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.  As it turned out, the hearing officer did not require our Client to jump through those hoops, but she was fully prepared nonetheless.

Undoubtedly, one of the most valuable services we provide is to prepare our Clients for testimony. Although our clients testify as our witnesses, they still are subject to cross-examination by the Hearing Officer.   Our experience has taught us the mannerisms of many of the DMV Hearing Officers with whom we deal; therefore we can anticipate their concerns and properly plan the presentation of our Client’s case.  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.

The hearing officer took the extraordinary step of reinstating our Client’s driving privilege on the spot.  She walked into the hearing as a suspended driver and walked out 45 minutes later with her driving privilege in full force.   


If the DMV is suspending your driving privilege for a Lapse of Consciousness or Control, 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.

A Lapse of Consciousness can occur for a variety of reasons.  Diabetes, Epilepsy, Dehydration, Illness or injury.  If you have suffered a Lapse of Consciousness or Control, the DMV will automatically assume the worst and will seek to keep you off the road. Don’t despair as you really can be well defended.

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.

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