DMV SELF-DEFENSE SOLUTION FOR
LAPSE OF CONSCIOUSNESS SUSPENSIONS

DMV SELF-DEFENSE SOLUTION FOR
LAPSE OF CONSCIOUSNESS SUSPENSIONS

Why Does the DMV Suspend a Driving Privilege for a Lapse of Consciousness?

For as long as we can all remember, it has been drilled into our brains that driving in California is a “privilege,” not a right.  In fact, driving in California is a conditional privilege.  This means, that while the state of California may grant a qualified person the privilege to drive; there are strings attached; in other words, rules that must be followed.  To maintain the privilege to drive, we must:

  • Obey the rules of the road
  • Not drive under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medications
  • Maintain proper auto insurance for any motor vehicle we own or operate
  • Maintain the knowledge to drive
  • Maintain the skill to drive
  • Maintain the physical/mental fitness to drive

In this segment we focus upon why the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is so terribly concerned about any driver who suffers with a medical disorder characterized by a Lapse of Consciousness or Control. 

If the California DMV learns that any person, over the age of 14, has suffered a Lapse of Consciousness or Control the “knee jerk” response is to assume that just one episode could lead to future episodes that could result in catastrophic traffic collisions.  The bottom line is, if the DMV learns that you have suffered a Lapse of Consciousness or Control, even if it doesn’t occur while driving, the department would rather suspend your privilege to drive than to take the chance a future episode could result in property damage, injury or death.

What this means is the DMV will consider that ANY Lapse of Consciousness or Control, occurring in any location, under any set of circumstances, makes that person unsafe to drive.  A few examples may be:

  • A person who suffers a seizure at night, while sleeping, and their spouse calls the paramedics. If this is reported to the DMV, the Department is likely to suspend the driving privilege of that person.
  • A person diagnosed with Epilepsy who goes into the hospital for a surgical procedure to correct the disorder and, who suffers a seizure on the operating table is a concern for the DMV and may have their driving privilege suspended.
  • A young person playing volleyball on a beach who becomes dehydrated and faints, will become the focus of a DMV suspension.

What does the DMV Consider to be a Lapse of Consciousness or Control?

The California DMV relies on the definition of a Lapse of Consciousness or Control that is published in the California Health and Safety Code (H&S).  Health and Safety Code Section 2806 defines a Lapse of Consciousness as:

  • A loss of consciousness or a marked reduction in alertness or responsiveness to external stimuli, and;
  • The inability to perform one or more activities of daily living, and;
  • The impairment of the sensory motor functions used to operate a motor vehicle.

The Health and Safety Code goes even further to explain:

“Examples of medical conditions that do not always, but may progress to the Level of functional severity described in subsection (a) of this section include: 

  • Alzheimer’s Disease, Cognitive Decline or other forms of Dementia
  • Seizure disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Non-Epileptic seizure disorders
  • Diabetes causing hypoglycemic events
  • Sleep Apnea and Narcolepsy causing excessive day-time sleepiness
  • Brain tumors
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Habitual use or addition to drugs, alcohol or medication
  • Adverse drug reaction
  • Fainting, passing out, blacking out or syncope
  • Stroke
  • Change in medical regimen
  • Cardiac disorders
  • Pulmonary disorders
  • Liver or kidney disorders

 The language in this category of law is important.  A Lapse of Consciousness is self-explanatory.  If you faint, pass out, black out, suffer a seizure or, for any other reason, lose consciousness, this is a problem for the DMV.  However, a person need not completely lose consciousness to come to the attention of the DMV.  If you suffer a Lapse of Control this is equally problematic for the DMV.  For example, if you suffer a stroke but do not lose consciousness, the loss of the ability to control your body could be a warning about future events; and the DMV will want to know about that.  The bottom-line is you don’t have to completely lose consciousness to lose your license.

How Does the DMV Learn I Experienced a Lapse of Consciousness or Control?

Because the California Department of Motor Vehicles is so deeply ingrained in our society, the Department can monitor a person’s medical history through a variety of sources.

Reports from Physicians: Without question, the most common source of medical information to the DMV is physicians, surgeons and other medical professionals.

The California Legislature has created a very onerous law that mandates that any physician or surgeon who learns that any person has suffered a Lapse of Consciousness or Control, must report that person to the DMV, even if they know nothing else about the person.

Health and Safety Code Section 103900 (a) determines:

“Every physician and surgeon shall report immediately to the local health officer in writing, the name, date of birth and address of every person at least 14 years of age or older whom the physician and surgeon has diagnosed as having a case of a disorder characterized by lapses of consciousness.”

 The language in this law is not ambiguous at all.   This law does not say that a physician or surgeon SHOULD or MAY report a Lapse of Consciousness. The law clearly states the doctor SHALL report such a incident.  If a doctor does not report a Lapse of Consciousness or Control as required, he/she is subject to having their medical license reviewed and potentially suspended.  This law effectively pierces the veil of confidentiality between a doctor and a patient.  What should be a private, medical discussion between a patient and their doctor now becomes a license suspension, even if the doctor doesn’t want it.

Reports from Law Enforcement Officers: Another primary means by which the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) learns that a person has suffered a Lapse of Consciousness or Control is by way of a Law Enforcement Referral.  Law Enforcement Officers are on the front-lines of our society.  Thousands of times each day, Law Enforcement Officers will come in contact with citizens for a variety of reasons.  Officers will come in contact with citizens during calls for service or they may make contact while investigating traffic violations and/or traffic collisions.  If, during such a contact, a Law Enforcement Officer sees or learns that a person has suffered a Lapse of Consciousness or Control, the Officer will “refer” the person to the DMV for a review of their fitness to drive.

Judges: Hundreds of times per day, in countless  courtrooms across California, judges will come into contact with citizens in a wide range of issues.  Just like Law Enforcement Officers, while dealing with court cases, a judge may learn a person has suffered a Lapse of Consciousness or Control.  Judges are empowered to refer that person to the DMV for a review of their driving privilege.

Family, friends and neighbors: Still another means by  which the DMV may learn a person has suffered a Lapse of Consciousness or Control, occurs when a family member, friend or neighbor takes the affirmative step to report such an event to the Department.  It is quite common for concerned family members to report such an event because they are concerned their loved one has developed a disorder that places them and the public in danger.   Reports to the DMV from friends and neighbors also must be investigated by the Department.

Social Media: There is nearly nothing that is off-limits to Social Media.  Information regarding a person’s physical/mental health could very easily find its way into the various Social Media Sites and employees of the California DMV may see something on a site that raises the suspicion a person may not have the fitness to drive.

DMV Employees: Every day, throngs of drivers enter DMV Field Offices up and down the State to register their cars, apply for driver licenses or conduct other DMV business.  Although most DMV employees are not trained to recognize physical or mental disorders, it is not uncommon for a DMV employee to determine a person is not fit to drive, simply by something they see.  If an elderly driver is a little too slow standing up, or is perhaps not entirely stable on their feet, a DMV employee may make the arbitrary decision to report that person to the Department.

Anonymous Tipsters:  The California Vehicle Code (CVC) mandates that the DMV investigate any report of a Lapse of Consciousness or Control and, many times, this results in an investigation that  preemptively takes the accused person off the road.  Because the Department must investigate ANY report, this means the department must investigate an allegation of a Lapse of Consciousness or Control even if the report comes from an anonymous tipster.  This type of case must be handled carefully as it is quite common for an anonymous tipster to report a driver simply because they are angry with that driver and want to see them punished.  So……. Even if a report is ultimately found to false, the DMV must investigate.

The Individual Driver: Remarkably, it is also quite common for a driver to report themselves to the DMV.   This occurs most often when a person is applying for a driver license or is applying to renew a license. All applications for the issuance of a driver license include questions to establish a person’s physical and mental fitness to drive.  If a person “self-reports” they suffered a Lapse of Consciousness or Control, they should expect the DMV to investigate.

If the DMV Learns I Have Suffered a Lapse of Consciousness or Control, What Action Will the Department Take?

If the DMV receives information from any source that a person has suffered a Lapse of Consciousness or Control, even if the event did not occur while driving, the Department may take one of the two following actions:

Re-Examination: If the department suspects that an individual driver suffered a Lapse of Consciousness or Control that may impact driving, it has the option to order that driver to participate in a Re-Examination of their driving privilege. A Re-Examination, and the associated interview is an investigation conducted by the DMV, prior to suspension, to determine if there is a reason to withdraw that person’s privilege to drive.

At a Re-Examination the accused driver is often kept in the dark regarding what evidence the department possesses to establish a concern for their Physical or Mental capacity to drive. In many instances the driver does not learn the details of the accusation until the Re-Examination interview begins. This puts the driver in a weakened position where he/she must anticipate what the department will focus upon. During a Re-Examination interview the accused driver is not permitted to be represented by an Advocate or Attorney. While a representative may be present during the interview that person may only appear as an observer but may do nothing to defend the driver. This mandates that the accused driver be prepared to represent themselves.  Preparing you to represent yourself at a Re-Examination interview is precisely what we do.

At the end of a Re-Examination interview the assigned hearing officer will either reject the driver’s argument and suspend the driver license or, the hearing officer may end the action and close the case.  Also, if the driver refuses or fails to complete the Re-Examination process, their driver license will be suspended for failing to comply.  This type of suspension will remain in effect until the accused driver completes the process.  In other words, the suspension remains in effect forever or, until you complete the process.  It does not simply go away.

Immediate Action SuspensionIf the department receives information that an individual driver has suffered a Lapse of Consciousness or Control, and if the information received is egregious enough in suggesting the driver poses a present danger to the motoring public, the DMV may take an immediate action to suspend the driver license.  This often occurs when the information received comes from a physician. By taking an immediate suspension action, the department preemptively suspends the person’s driving privilege until a hearing can be convened to establish if the accusatory information is correct.

Once the DMV takes an immediate suspension action against a person’s driving privilege, the accused driver is entitled to an Administrative Hearing to reverse the decision. There are sensitive time elements in play that require the driver to react quickly or be denied a hearing. This makes it incumbent upon the accused driver to seek out representation as quickly as possible. Unlike a Re-Examination, at a Lapse of Consciousness Hearing the driver is entitled to be represented by any person of their choosing. In fact, the driver can even represent themselves. Again, this is exactly what we are in business to do…. We help you to help yourself.

At an Administrative Hearing the driver is permitted to introduce evidence to rebut the department’s information. Witnesses may testify and the driver provide testimony under oath. Ultimately, the assigned hearing officer will either sustain the suspension, which keeps the driver off the road, or the suspension may be ended.

The California Legislature has granted the California Department of Motor Vehicles broad power to investigate allegations that a driver has suffered a Lapse of Consciousness or Control and to take preemptory action, if necessary, to protect the general public. While the DMV is tasked with this solemn responsibility, it is not uncommon for the department to overreact or misinterpret information that results in the suspension of a healthy person’s driving privilege.  You should never allow the DMV to steal your driving freedom without a fight.  If necessary you can defend yourself……… and you should!

What Gives the DMV the Authority to Suspend My License for a Lapse of Consciousness?

All of the DMV’s power to suspend or revoke a person’s privilege to drive is derived from the California Vehicle Code (CVC).  The California Legislature has granted the DMV sweeping power to suspend or revoke a person’s privilege to drive if it is in the best interest of the motoring public.  An individual person’s need to drive is secondary to the safety and security of the public.   In other words, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.

California Vehicle Code Section 13953 is a broad and sweeping law that grants the DMV nearly unbridled power to suspend a person’s privilege to drive if there is evidence to support it.

California Vehicle Code Section 13953 states:

“In the alternative to the procedure under Sections 13950, 13951 and 13952 and in the event the department determines upon investigation or reexamination that the safety of the person subject to investigation or other persons on the highways require such action, the department         shall forthwith and without hearing suspend or revoke the privilege of the person to operate a motor vehicle or impose reasonable terms and conditions of probation which shall be relative to the safe operation of     a motor vehicle.  No order of suspension or revocation or the imposition of the terms or conditions of probation shall become effective until 30 days after the giving or written notice thereof to the person affected, except that the department shall have authority to make such order effective immediately the giving of notice when in its opinion because of the mental or physical condition of the person, such immediate action is required for the safety of the driver or other persons on the highways.”

What Happens if I Don’t Fight the Suspension of My Driver License?

When the California DMV orders the suspension or revocation of one’s driving privilege under California Vehicle Code Section 13953, there is no expiration date.  This type of suspension will remain in effect FOREVER, or until the accused driver takes the initiative to reverse the DMV’s decision.  The DMV can and will suspend or revoke that person’s driving privilege with little or no evidence and with no regard for the impact it will have on the driver.   The DMV will then challenge the accused driver to prove that the suspension is wrong or no longer warranted.

Even though we have all grown up in this State being told we are “innocent until proven guilty,” ………  at the DMV…………. You are determined to be unfit to drive until you prove them wrong.    There is no arbitrary expiration date.  The DMV will hold your license in suspension until you do the work necessary to get it reinstated.

How can I defend myself against a Lapse of Consciousness Suspension if I can’t afford an Attorney or Advocate?

When the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues a Notice of Re-Examination or an Order of Suspension to a person who suffered a Lapse of Consciousness or Control it is no laughing matter. The accused driver is immediately investigated or taken off the road and their privilege to drive will remain suspended until such time as that driver takes the initiative to reverse the order.

This type of suspension is absolute. This means until the accused driver is able to participate in an Administrative Hearing to reverse the DMV’s decision, that person is not permitted to drive for any reason. There is no provision for a restricted license which would allow a person limited driving while they work on their case. In the interest of public safety the license will remain suspended, without exception, until the accused driver is able to prove their fitness to drive.   The DMV takes no account of the accused persons’ need to drive. Even though our citizens commonly live great distances from where they work, the DMV will remove them from the road without hesitation. This can have truly devastating consequences for the accused driver as the loss of their driving privilege can profoundly affect their ability to earn, attend medical appointments or attend to the needs of family.  The DMV simply DOES NOT CARE.

THE SOLUTION TO YOUR PROBLEM

If you have received a Notice of Re-Examination or an Order of Suspension from the California DMV alleging that you suffer with a Physical or Mental Disorder affecting your ability to drive, do not despair. Although you may temporarily lose the privilege to drive, this does not have to be a life sentence. There are many things that can be done to either prevent the suspension of your license or to restore it if it has been suspended.  More importantly, if you cannot afford to hire an Administrative Advocate or Attorney, you can successfully defend yourself.

Throughout our website we constantly state that the best way to defend yourself before the California DMV is through representation by an Administrative Advocate or Attorney. The laws governing the operation of motor vehicles in California are complex. The Administrative Procedures Act, which governs how Administrative Hearings are conducted, is difficult to understand; and the California Vehicle Code, which controls the DMV, is archaic. If you have the resources to retain a DMV defense professional, do it.

If you, however, are in a position where you simply cannot afford the fees charged by professional Administrative Advocates or Attorneys, that does not mean you have to go down in flames. You can and should fight to protect your driving freedom. Here at Your DMV Self-Defense Solutions, we are specifically set up to help drivers who can’t afford the DMV “Dream Team.” California Law expressly permits an accused driver to represent themselves in actions before the California DMV and we’re here to ensure you do it the right way.

Our background is in DMV Administrative Advocacy.  For decades we have fought side by side with our Clients at Administrative License Suspension Hearings before the California DMV. We have extensive training and experience in California Law and DMV protocol, so we know what it takes to save your driving privilege and we are ready to help you help yourself.   We offer services unlike any other DMV defense group in California.

At Your DMV Self-Defense Solutions, we offer 3 different self-defense packages to assist you in defending yourself against a DMV administrative license Re-Examination or Suspension Hearing. That’s right, we help you do-it-yourself; and the fees are far less than those charged by Administrative Advocates and Attorneys. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call us.  Let us assess what your case requires and what we can do to help you Defend Yourself.

Our Solutions are form-fitted to you depending upon the complexity of your case, your need to drive, and your individual strengths and weaknesses.  Proper self-defense at a DMV Re-examination or Suspension Hearing can require one to be adept at the use of computers, fax machines and telephones for communication.  Proper self-defense can require in-depth legal research and learning to navigate the DMV’s maze of requirements and protocols.

Some people have all the strengths necessary to defend themselves with a minimum of guidance, while others need their case to be managed and prepared right up to the point of testimony.  With proper guidance you can defend yourself at the DMV and YOU CAN WIN!!

 If you find yourself in the predicament of having to fight the DMV to save or restore your driving privilege but, you cannot afford the fees charged by Administrative Advocates and Attorneys we may have a Solution that fits your needs and your budget.

To begin with, you have to conduct a self-assessment of you and your case.  By answering these few questions for yourself and speaking with us, you can decide which of our Solutions works for you.  Ask yourself:

  • Why is the DMV re-examining me or suspending my driving privilege?
  • How critical is my need to drive?
  • How complex are the issues in my case with the DMV?
  • How comfortable am I communicating by telephone, email and fax?
  • How comfortable am I conducting legal research and preparing legal documents?
  • How comfortable am I communicating with authority figures?

Once you have answered these questions then you can review the Solutions we offer to select one that meets your needs.

Platinum

$1200
  • We file a formal “Request for Hearing”
  • We file a “Request for Stay of Suspension”
  • We file a formal “Request for Discovery”
  • Collection of evidence & preparing witness statements: Included
  • We file a formal “Notice of Affirmative Evidence”
  • We prepare you for testimony: Question Prep
  • We provide you details about your DMV Hearing Officer
  • Any Follow-up after your Hearing: We handle it
  • We file a formal “Request to Terminate” Suspension

Gold

$750
  • Instructions: How to file your formal “Request for Hearing”
  • Instructions: How to file your “Request for Stay of Suspension”
  • Instructions: How to file your “Request for Discovery”
  • Instructions: Collection of evidence & the preparation of witnesses
  • Instructions: How to file your “Notice of Affirmative Evidence”
  • Provided: A list of questions you should expect to be asked
  • We provide you details about your DMV Hearing Officer
  • Any Follow-up after your Hearing: we instruct you how to handle
  • Instructions: How to file a formal “Request to Terminate” Suspension

Silver

$500
  • Instructions: How to file your formal “Request for Hearing”
  • Instructions: How to file your “Request for Stay of Suspension”
  • Instructions: How to file your “Request for Discovery”
  • Instructions: Collection of evidence & the preparation of witnesses
  • Instructions: How to file your “Notice of Affirmative Evidence”
  • Testimony Prep: NONE
  • We provide you details about your DMV Hearing Officer
  • Any Follow-up after your Hearing: we instruct you how to handle
  • Instructions: How to file a formal “Request to Terminate” Suspension
Learn More About Each Solution Here

Each one of our Solutions has been carefully crafted based on decades of experience gained in representing drivers at DMV Lapse of Consciousness Hearings.  We have actually been in the trenches fighting the DMV to restore the driving freedom of thousands of Clients.  By utilizing one of our three solutions, you put a defense team behind you with the skill, knowledge and experience to get the job done.  You put yourself in the position of being fully prepared and confident to face the DMV and to prevail in the end.

So, if you can’t afford the price of high-quality Advocates or Attorneys, call Your DMV Self-Defense Solutions today.  You should never allow the DMV to steal your driving freedom without a fight.  Call us today and we’ll guide you through the battle.

In this solution we handle EVERYTHING to prepare you to represent yourself at a DMV Reexam or Hearing.  We manage everything right up to the point your hearing begins.  The Platinum Solution includes:

  • We file a formal “Request for Hearing” on your behalf with the Financial Responsibility Unit in Sacramento. This is done in a timely manner with proper documentation.  We then confirm the DMV has received the request so they can’t wiggle out of giving you a hearing.
  • We file a “Request for Stay of Suspension” on your behalf to stop the suspension of your driving privilege until the outcome of the Administrative Hearing.
  • We file a formal “Request for Discovery” which compels the DMV to provide you with all of its evidence.
  • We conduct a detailed interview with you to learn all about who you are as a person and how you came to the DMV’s attention.
  • From the information derived in the interview, we provide you a Checklist of things to be completed.
  • If the collection of evidence or the preparation of witness statements is important, we assist to get that done.
  • We file a formal “Notice of Affirmative Evidence” on your behalf to compel the DMV to accept all of your evidence.
  • We prepare you for testimony. In this phase we instruct you on what questions to expect during your hearing and how to appropriately conduct yourself and answer those questions.  We actually explain the entire hearing process and practice your testimony.
  • We update you on information concerning your individual DMV Hearing Officer. What type of things do they appreciate?  What type of things tend to irritate them?
  • If there is any follow-up after your Hearing, we handle it.
  • When the case draws to a conclusion, we file a formal “Request to Terminate” Suspension on your behalf with the DMV.

**We do not represent you at your Suspension Hearing but, we handle everything right up to that point and have you completely prepared to conduct your hearing, on your own with confidence**

One step down from the Platinum Solution is our Gold Solution.  In this solution, the burden of preparation falls more squarely on your shoulders but, we instruct you every step of the way.  The Gold solution includes:

  • Instruction on how to file your own formal “Request for Hearing” in a timely manner with the Financial Responsibility Unit in Sacramento and how to confirm the DMV’s receipt of the request.
  • Instruction on how to file your own “Request for Stay of Suspension” to stop the suspension of your driving privilege until the outcome of the hearing.
  • Instruction on how to file your own “Request for Discovery” to compel the DMV to provide you with its evidence.
  • We conduct a detailed interview with you to learn all about who you are as a person. We also learn what brought you to the DMV’s attention.
  • From the information derived in the interview, we provide you a Checklist of things to be done and how to appropriately communicate with the DMV.
  • If the collection of evidence or the preparation of witnesses is important, we instruct you on how to perform these tasks.
  • We instruct you how to file your own “Notice of Affirmative Evidence,” in an appropriate manner so the DMV will accept your items of evidence.
  • We provide you a list of questions you should expect to be asked during Administrative Hearing.
  • We update you on information concerning your individual DMV Hearing Officer. What type of things do they appreciate?  What type of things tend to irritate them?
  • If there is any follow-up after your Re-Exam or Hearing, we instruct you how to handle those issues.
  • When the case draws to a conclusion, we instruct you how to file a formal “Request to Terminate” Suspension with the DMV.

**In the Gold Solution, we do not represent you at your Administrative Hearing and we do not communicate with the DMV on your behalf but, we manage your case and instruct you every step of the way in preparing your own defense**

Our most basic solution is the Silver Solution.  In this solution, we provide minimal instruction on how to handle your case. The Silver Solution includes:

  • Instruction on how to prepare and file your own formal “Request for Hearing” in a timely manner with the Financial Responsibility Unit in Sacramento and how to confirm the DMV’s receipt of the request.
  • Instruction on how to file your own “Request for Stay of Suspension” to stop the intended suspension of your driving privilege until the outcome of your hearing.
  • Instruction on how to file your own “Request for Discovery” to compel the DMV to provide you with its evidence.
  • We provide a Checklist of things to be done based on our conversation with you.
  • If the collection of evidence or the preparation of witness statements is important, we instruct you on how to perform these tasks.
  • We instruct you how to file all of your evidence in an appropriate manner so the DMV will accept your items.
  • We update you on information concerning your individual DMV Hearing Officer. What type of things do they appreciate?  What type of things tend to irritate them?
  • If there is any follow-up after your Administrative Hearing, we instruct you how to handle those issues.
  • When the case draws to a conclusion, we instruct you how to file a formal “Request to Terminate” Suspension with the DMV.

**In the Silver Solution, we do not represent you at your Administrative Hearing and we do not communicate with the DMV on your behalf.  We do not conduct an intake interview but, we have you completely prepared to handle your matter on your own with confidence**

Each one of our Solutions has been carefully crafted based on decades of experience gained in representing drivers at DMV License Suspension Hearings.  We have actually been in the trenches fighting the DMV to restore the driving freedom of thousands of Clients.  By utilizing one of our three solutions, you put a defense team behind you with the skill, knowledge and experience to get the job done.  You put yourself in the position of being fully prepared to defend yourself with confidence and to win!!

If you can’t afford the price of high-quality Advocates or Attorneys, call Your DMV Self-Defense Solutions today.  You should never allow the DMV to steal your driving freedom without a fight.  Call us today and we’ll guide you through the battle.

You can defend yourself and you can win!!!

Schedule a Confidential and Free Consultation

Our team of DMV Defense Experts are standing by to answer any questions you may have. All calls are confidential and at no obligation to you. Reach out now to see how any of our Self Help DMV Defense services can help you.