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Question:

From Vallejo, California, USA:

My 22 year old son, who has had diabetes since age 13, was in good control until he had a virus and ended up in the hospital with DKA. Now they have revoked his driver's license even though he has never driven when he was sick and tries to keep his glucose levels in check. How can he get his license back?

Answer:

Laws differ from state to state, but I have never heard of a license being revoked because someone was hospitalized with high blood sugars and DKA [diabetic ketoacidosis]. Perhaps your son hasn't told you the true reason his license was revoked. If what you say is correct, he will need his doctor to work with him to convince the department of motor vehicles that there is no danger when he drives.

I suspect he had some driving violation he didn't tell you about. If he didn't have any driving violation, than his doctor would have had to notify the department of motor vehicles that it wasn't safe for him to drive. In some states this is mandated if a physician feels that there is a medical contraindication to someone's driving (which is usually low blood sugars, not ketoacidosis with diabetes). I suspect that your son hasn't told you all the details.

Sometimes having your license revoked if you are indeed driving with low blood sugars (or with alcohol or both), can get the person to take the responsibility of driving more seriously and prevent a tragic accident and get be an incentive to control the diabetes more carefully.

TGL

Additional comments from David S. Holtzman, Esq.:

Courts have held that holding a driver's license is a privilege, not a right. The state can revoke that privilege if there is evidence that a medical condition would prevent the driver from safely operating a vehicle. Likely, a physician treating your son reported that your son may not always be able to recognize when he will be so sick that he cannot safely drive.

Your son is entitled to a hearing on the DMV's determination that his medical condition prevents him from safely operating a motor vehicle. In preparing for the hearing, he should obtain the advice of an attorney licensed in his state with expertise in vehicle and traffic law. He will also need to show proof from at least one physician that he is fit to operate a motor vehicle.

DSH

DTQ-20030118150749
Original posting 26 Jan 2003
Posted to Other Social Issues

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:42
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