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What Happens To My License After A Lapse Of Consciousness

What does the DMV consider to be a Lapse of Consciousness?  The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the government entity tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that all persons operating a motor vehicle in the State of California maintain the physical and mental capability to drive safely.  If the DMV receives any information suggesting a driver has developed any type of physical or mental condition which effects their ability to drive, the department will act swiftly to remove that person from the road until it can be determined that there is no reason for concern.

One of the most common reasons that the DMV will act immediately to suspend or revoke a person’s driving privilege is for a Lapse of Consciousness or Control.  The DMV will have grave concern for a person operating a motor vehicle with a possibility that they could suffer a seizure, black-out or fainting spell.  Anything that could affect a person’s cognition or ability to perceive the world around them is cause for concern.There are several physical or mental conditions that can be characterized by a Lapse of Consciousness or Control:

  • Epilepsy
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Cardio-Vascular Disorders
  • Brain Tumors
  • Syncope (Fainting)
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Narcolepsy
  • Diabetes……. Hypoglycemia
  • Diabetes…… Hyperglycemia
  • Dementia

Essentially any physical or mental condition that causes a marked reduction of alertness or responsiveness to external stimuli or the inability to perform one or more activities of daily living. Also, be aware that the DMV is concerned by ANY Lapse of Consciousness that occurs at any time.  Even a seizure or lapse of consciousness or control occurring in the privacy of your home is good cause for the DMV to suspend or revoke a driving privilege because of the fear that such an event could occur while driving.

How does the DMV learn about my Lapse of Consciousness?  In most instances, the DMV will learn of a person’s Lapse of Consciousness or Control from a physician.  If a person is taken to an emergency room, or if they self-report a Lapse of Consciousness to a physician during an exam, the involved physician is mandated by law to report the event to the DMV.  Even if a doctor has no knowledge of your medical history, he is mandated to report any lapse of consciousness to the DMV. Most commonly, the DMV will learn of a Lapse of Consciousness from:

  • Physicians
  • Family members
  • Drivers who reveal a medical problem while applying for or renewing a driver license
  • Anonymous tipsters who report the driver to the DMV.

Can I get my license back after a Lapse of Consciousness?  Emphatically the answer is YES!  Once the DMV learns that a Lapse of Consciousness or Control has occurred, they will move quickly to suspend or revoke the person’s driver license immediately so that the motoring public is protected.  Once that has occurred, however, the driver is then entitled to defend themselves and to present evidence to demonstrate that their condition is stable and that they are safe to drive.  The DMV will consider several factors in making the determination to suspend or revoke a person’s driver license; or to reinstate the driving privilege:

  • The actual effect of the physical or mental condition on the person’s ability to drive.
  • Affirmative medical evidence which demonstrates the person is safe to drive.
  • The person’s testimony regarding the disorder and his or her ability to drive.
  • The testimony of friends or family as to the person’s ability to drive.
  • Whether or not the disorder is stable and under control and if medication is necessary.
  • The person’s ability and willingness to obey a medically approved treatment regimen.
  • The person’s driving record.
  • Other relevant factors or evidence which demonstrates an ability to safely drive.

Presenting this evidence in an appropriate format and testifying with credibility can be tricky.  Fortunately, an accused driver can be represented by a DMV Defense Expert from California Drivers Advocates.  We have been fighting and winning all forms of DMV Administrative Hearings for years.  We have successfully defended hundreds of drivers with a myriad of physical and mental disorders.  Call us today; we’re ready to fight for your driving freedom.

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