Could Your Driver's License Be At Risk?
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A Simple Fix: Two Common Sense Legislative Changes That Would Ensure All Drivers Receive Due Process from the DMV
Under current DMV policies, which are enabled by Virginia code, decisions about licensing can be made based upon the opinions of a wide array of medical professionals, including pharmacists, many of whom may not have specialized training when it comes to assessing levels of cognitive impairment. Adoption of the following amendments would put in place a swifter, more standardized assessment procedure for drivers suspected of being impaired and would encourage holistic testing protocols more in line with contemporary medical thinking.
- Amend Code of Virginia §46.2-322 to require medical professionals to advise their patients before administering any test that they believe will determine the patient’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, including a description of the test, what to expect and possible outcomes or consequences. Medical professionals should be encouraged whenever possible to involve family members in discussions regarding restricting or limiting the vehicle operations of mature drivers.
- Upon receipt of any medical professional’s report that in any way addresses their patient’s ability to drive, the Medical Advisory Board, or Medical Review Services must refer the driver for further testing by driving professionals prior to any license suspension or special restrictions.
Del. Barry Knight, sponsor of the bill, had this to say: “Currently, members of the medical profession have the ability to be both judge and jury when a driver’s license is at stake. This legislation will ensure that mature drivers will have a process to prove they have the ability to safely remain on the road. Our seniors have given a lifetime to our community, and it is important for them to retain their independence for as long as possible.”
Do you know someone who has experienced a license suspension under circumstances similar to Grayson’s? Share your comments with other Coastal Virginia readers below.