One of the hardest things many people face as they age is that they may
not have the same capabilities they did when they were younger. You may
Grandma or Grandpa is no longer safe behind the wheel -- but then what? Restricting somebody's ability
to drive a car can be a difficult process, but you may find that a conservatorship
is the only way to keep everybody safe.
California & Driving Restrictions
Fortunately for those on the road, the California Department of Motor Vehicles
does investigate drivers if it receives information about their driving
capabilities, such as evidence of a physical or mental condition that
may affect one's ability to drive safely. After initiating an investigation,
the DMV will notify the individual that he or she must come in for a driving
exam and visit the physician for a signed form.
The officer in charge of the investigation is likely to have your loved
one go through an interview, vision test, written test, and driving test.
Based on the findings of the examinations, the officer may decide to allow
the driver to continue on or to restrict driving privileges.
The Responsibility of Medical Providers
If a physician believes that a patient's ability to drive is impaired
by certain disorders, such as those that cause lack of consciousness,
he or she must report it to a health officer. Of course, even if the physician
reports the driver and the DMV revokes driving privileges, your loved
one could challenge the decision. You can seek out
an independent opinion if you are unsure of the physician's assessment.
What Is a Conservatorship?
A court proceeding establishes a
conservator, or fiduciary, who is in charge of ensuring the physical, medical, financial,
and basic needs of an individual are met. A conservator is established
when it becomes clear that an individual may no longer be able to meet
his or her own needs. In a case where an individual appears to be no longer
capable of making decisions regarding safe driving, you can speak to a
lawyer about whether or not conservatorship is the right choice.
Your goal is to keep Grandma (or Grandpa) and everybody else safe on the
road. If you want to learn more about conservatorship,
contact us for additional information.