Medical Condition Driver License Suspension
The information in this page is a general overview of action that may be taken by the DMV agaisnt a driver’s license based on their knowledge of a driver’s lapse of consciousnous issue or disorder (ie. seizure). This is for informational purposes only, does not establish an attorney-client relationship, and you should speak to an Attorney about your specific situation in detail. For more information about this or another medical condition effecting your driver’s license, or would like to hire an attorney to assist you with your situation, contact Phil Hache at (818) 336-1384 for a free consultation.
I. DMV ACTIONS FOR LAPSE OF CONSCIOUSNESS DISORDERS
The DMV is often notified of a mental or physical condition by a treating physician or an officer.
If the DMV is notified that you have recently suffered a Seizure or other condition causing lapse of consciousness, the DMV can take action against your driver’s license. Depending on the nature of the report, the DMV will do one of the following:
(a) Take no action (report insufficient to warrant any action);
(b) Send driver a notice of reexamination pursuant to CVC §13801, without summarily revoking the privilege to drive;
(c) Send driver notice of intention to revoke or withhold privilege, with notice to driver or applicant of the right to a hearing on the action. CVC §13950; or
(d) Immediately revoke the driving privilege pursuant to CVC §13953, and notify the driver of the revocation and his right to a hearing on it.
II. SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION OF DRIVER’S LICENSE
Immediate action will be taken by the California DMV against the driving privilege if evidence indicates that the condition renders the person unsafe to drive. The driver may request a hearing after receiving a notice of suspension or revocation.
Alternatives to a driver’s license suspension or revocation
III. MEDICAL PROBATION
If the DMV does take action against your driver’s license, it is possible to have the DMV place you on Medical Probation. Placing a person on medical probation allows drivers with controlled epilepsy and other disorders characterized by a lapse of consciousness to continue driving. The DMV only allows for medical probation when control of a lapse of consciousness disorder has been achieved for at least three months. There are two different types of medical probation that can be considered here.
The decision to place a driver on Medical probation is generally based on a combination of considerations, including but are not limited to:
a) Seizure type
b) Seizure manifestations
c) Seizure, medical and lifestyle history
d) The seizure-free period prior to the last episode
1. Medical probation Type II
If the DMV agrees to place the driver on type II medical probation, the driver is required to authorize his/her treating physician to complete the Driver Medical Evaluation (form DS 326) and submit it to the department on a prescribed basis.
2. Medical probation Type III
The DMV will consider Type III medical probation for drivers who have achieved six or more months of control, but due to contributing factors there is a slight possibility of another seizure. Medical probation Type III requires the driver to report, in writing, on a regular basis to the department on the status of his/her disorder. The Medical Probation Reporting form (DS 346) is used by drivers on Type III probation, and the driver must sign the form under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the information provided is true and correct. The decision to place a driver on Medical probation Type III should be based on the driver’s medical history and established reliability.
The major reliability factor to consider is the driver’s likelihood of complying honestly. Medical Probation Type III should be considered self-monitoring and should not be imposed if the driver has exhibited past evidence of:
b) Withholding information from a physician or the department
c) Inconsistent statements
DMV’s ability to terminate probation
It should also be noted that the DMV can terminate or modify the conditions of probation whenever good cause exists per Vehicle Code 14251.
If it appears that a driver’s lapse of consciousness disorder has become unstable or it is suspected that the information reported is fraudulent, the driver will be requested to have his/her physician complete a Driver Medical Evaluation. If necessary, a reexamination will be scheduled or an immediate suspension of the driving privilege imposed.
Dealing with the DMV to protect your driving privileges can be murky waters to get through at best. Having an Attorney assist you with the process or represent you at a hearing can be helpful in getting you safely behind the wheel and driving again.
If you or someone you know recently had a seizure or other condition which is or may cause the DMV to take action against your driver’s license, call me at (818) 336-1384 to discuss your situation further.
Law Office of Philip Hache
Attorney for DMV hearings and DMV related matters