Case History: California Drivers Advocates (CDA) was hired to represent a client whose driver license had been immediately suspended by the California Department of Motor Vehicles after receiving a Confidential Morbidity Report from a physician reporting that his patient had suffered an “involuntary loss of motor control.”
The doctor’s one-page report did not explain any details of our client’s medical condition but, assuming a physician’s ability to accurately identify a problem, the DMV immediately suspended the driver license and challenged us to prove them wrong.
Our 18 year old client was diagnosed with an unusual form of Migraine Headaches as a child and the condition progressed to a point where it became most severe at about the age of 15. Our client did not suffer the classic symptoms of a migraine headache; she did not suffer with the blinding pain that is so often associated with this condition. In her case, our client would experience tremors in her hands. Eventually, the condition progressed to the point that she would suffer episodes engulfing her entire body.
For several years, her parents had sought the advice and guidance from several doctors but no one could properly diagnose her condition. Finally, our client’s mother was able to capture one of the episodes on video tape and played it for a new physician. Seeing the whole body tremor, the doctor was concerned that she may actually be suffering with some form of seizure disorder. It was this physician who reported the episode to the DMV. Interestingly enough, after follow-up work, it was this same physician who finally diagnosed the problem and prescribed a new medication that immediately stopped the episodes.
DMV’s Position: When the DMV receives a Confidential Morbidity Report from a physician which reports that a licensed driver suffered any form of “Lapse of Consciousness or Control” it will immediately assume the worst. It has been the policy of the DMV to immediately suspend the person’s driving privilege and ask questions later.
Our Defense: When our client retained us, we immediately went to work to schedule her “Lapse of Consciousness” hearing by contacting the Driver Safety Office in the City of Orange.
As always, our defense began with an extremely detailed interview of the client to determine her life history, medical history and driving history.
We began the task of investigating and collecting affirmative evidence to demonstrate our position. This included collecting and reviewing old medical records as well as having our client examined by several physicians to demonstrate that she was physically and mentally fit to drive.
Over a period of time, our client was able to demonstrate that she was obeying the treatment regimen of her doctors and was responding very well to the new medication. Because so many different physicians had been involved in the treatment of our client and because so many areas of medicine had been explored, we collected medical reports or diagnostic letters from seven doctors.
We spent a great deal of time preparing our client for her hearing. When we appeared with her, she was nervous but completely ready. During the hearing, she testified honestly and with great credibility. There was no question that she understood her case and completely understood her medical condition.
Our client was not required to perform a driving test and three weeks later, we received the Hearing Officer’s written decision in the mail. We had won and our client’s driving privilege was fully reinstated without restriction or probation.
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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 you have any physical or mental disorder that could affect driving, the DMV should not discriminate against you. As long as your medical condition is stable, you should be permitted to drive. You have the right to defend yourself. Don’t let the DMV steal your driving freedom without a fight. Call CDA today, you’ll be glad you did.