Case History: California Drivers Advocates was engaged to represent a client whose driver license had been suspended by the California Department of Motor Vehicles because they suspected he was addicted to, or habitually using marijuana. The DMV took an immediate suspension action against his driving privilege after they received a referral from a San Bernardino County Deputy Sheriff reporting that our Client had crashed into an oncoming automobile and admitted the use of Medical Marijuana.
In October 2013, our Client was driving his father’s car and on the way to attend college classes. As he drove down a major roadway in Chino, California, another car suddenly changed lanes into his lane. Our client reacted by steering to the left and ended up colliding with an on-coming car. Our Client suffered a severe concussion that resulted in scar tissue on the brain.
The responding San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy conducted a full DUI investigation and came to the conclusion that our Client was completely sober. The deputy was concerned however, when he admitted the frequent use of medical marijuana. Our Client was then drawn into the DMV’s Re-Examination process when the Deputy Sheriff referred the case to the DMV.
For a period of three years, our Client repeatedly attempted to win the reinstatement of his driving privilege. He repeatedly filed medical documents which were rejected for being incomplete on conclusionary. He repeatedly asked for guidance or assistance from the DMV but was rebuffed by DMV employees who said it was not their job to help him understand the system.
Our Client found himself caught in a classic governmental “Revolving Door” with no assistance. Finally, after three years of rejection, failures and frustration, he telephoned CDA.
DMV’s Position: The California DMV’s position is crystal clear in matters of this nature. First of all, the DMV was concerned that the traumatic brain injury suffered by our Client may affect his ability to drive. More importantly, however, the DMV has a real problem with drivers who habitually use Marijuana for any reason. While California State Law makes it perfectly legal for medical patients to use Marijuana as a prescription medicine, the DMV rejects that out of hand and accuses drivers of being unable to drive because they are addicted to or habitually using a substance that may affect their ability to drive.
Based on this, our Client experienced three years of closed doors and rejected attempts to get back on the road.
Our Defense: Our defense began with a detailed interview of the Client to determine his complete medical history, which turned out to be quite benign. Other than the lesion to his brain caused by the traffic collision, he was otherwise relatively healthy. We learned that our Client had previously been prescribed the use of Medical Marijuana to treat the effects of insomnia and anxiety. These two conditions had been precipitated by a dysfunctional relationship with a woman. Over the three year period he had been fighting with the DMV, our Client ended that negative relationship and the symptoms of insomnia and anxiety had abated. With that corrected, he no longer was using marijuana as medicine, although he was still smoking marijuana recreationally on an infrequent basis.
After learning our Client’s background, we then set him upon the path to collect appropriate and relevant medical evidence to demonstrate he had the physical and mental capacity to drive. We guided him through the proper collection of that evidence to ensure it was presented in a format acceptable to the DMV. We directed our Client to attend an on-line driving school and to study the Drive Handbook. The most valuable element of our defense was to prepare our Client for testimony. Because the DMV would handle his matter as an “interview” as opposed to a “hearing” he was subject to the direct examination of the hearing officer; he had to be ready.
Once we had collected all of our evidence, we contacted the DMV and requested that they re-open his matter for Re-Examination. Our request was granted and a date was set.
At our Client’s interview, the Hearing Officer accepted each item of evidence we presented without objection and gave it appropriate consideration. The hearing officer questioned our Client extensively, but because we had prepared him so thoroughly, he testified with great clarity and credibility.
Two weeks later, we received the DMV’s “Order of Set Aside or Reinstatement” which terminated the action against our Client and his three-year ordeal came to an end.
Call CDA Today. Let us put you back on the road.
The lesson here is that most drivers are not prepared to take on the DMV at an Administrative Hearing without professional help. By attempting his Re-Examination without representation, our client extended the suspension of his driver license for more than three years.
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 or Re-Examination the first time.
If your driver license has been suspended or revoked because you suffer with a physical or mental condition; or if the DMV suspects you are addicted to or habitually using any substance, compound or medication that affects driving, call us immediately. These cases really can be won and we can get you there.