Case History: California Drivers Advocates was retained to represent a client whose driver license had been suspended by the California Department of Motor Vehicles following a Re-Examination. The DMV had ordered the Re-Examination of his driving privilege after they received a Confidential Morbidity Report from a Physician who reported that our Client had suffered a Lapse of Consciousness or Control while in his own bed at home.
Our 66 year old client is a retired Civil Engineer who had developed epilepsy following surgery to remove a brain tumor in 2011. Over the course of several years and with several changes in medication, he had achieved a level of stability that had caused his seizures to end. In February 2017, he missed taking a dose of medication and suffered a grand mal seizure while sleeping. He was taken to a local hospital which resulted in the emergency room physician reporting the incident to the DMV.
At a Re-Examination Interview at the San Bernardino Driver Safety Office in April 2017, our Client presented evidence he presumed would establish his fitness to drive. As the interview ended, the Hearing Officer said he was not satisfied with the evidence presented and suspended his driving privilege on the spot. Although he was offered an opportunity to conduct an administrative hearing, our Client became frustrated and simply withdrew from reality. He gave up the fight and his license remained suspended.
In October 2017, our Client had a change of heart and decided to fight for the reinstatement of his driving privilege. That was when he retained us to represent him.
DMV’s Position: The California DMV’s position was crystal clear in matters of this nature. Throughout a person’s driving career, the DMV will monitor all drivers to ensure they maintain the Knowledge, the Skill and the Physical/Mental fitness to drive. If the DMV receives information from any source; in this case a medical professional, that the driver suffers with a physical or mental condition that can affect safe driving, the department has the option to order the driver to participate in a Re-Examination; or the department can move to immediate suspension.
Once a driving privilege is withdrawn for a medical disorder, the license will remain suspended forever, or until the driver proves his fitness to drive.
Our Defense: 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. We knew going in that we would only prevail if we presented a broad spectrum of defense that addressed all of the DMV’s concerns.
To regain our Client’s driving privilege required that we ask the DMV to “Re-Open” his matter and grant us a hearing. A specific provision of the Vehicle Code empowers the Department to re-open a driver’s case upon receipt of new medical evidence.
At our direction, our client met with his Primary Care Doctor, a Neurologist, a Cardiologist, and an Optometrist and asked each physician to prepare a medical evaluation. It was our goal to present a broad spectrum of valid medical evidence that his medical disorder was stable and that there was nothing that should prevent him from driving. We sought to paint the picture that a final adjustment to medication levels in February 2017 was working, that our Client was stable and that he had not experienced another seizure for 9 months.
Once we had collected all of the necessary evidence, we prepared a “Request to Re-Open Matter” and served it on the DMV asking that the department grant us a hearing to argue for the reinstatement of our Client’s driving privilege.
Just one week later, we received an Order of Set Aside or Reinstatement that terminated the suspension action and immediately returned our client to full driving privileges. The evidence we presented in our request was so comprehensive and compelling that the Department granted the reinstatement of the driving privilege without the need for a hearing.
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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, don’t despair. There are literally thousands of Californians driving right now because they can prove they are fit to drive. Don’t give up on yourself. You’re entitled to your freedom and we can help restore it.