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Driving licence suspended but Dad still driving

Bettusboo

Registered User
Aug 30, 2020
18
My Dad’s driving licence has been suspended following a GP memory appointment and pending an appointment with the memory clinic. However, I suspect that my Dad is still going out in his car and either does not want to know or keeps forgetting. Should I try to get him to agree to me locking the car in the garage with a sign reminding him why ? If he won’t agree to this, what are my options ? I don’t know whether or not he should be driving and think medical advice should determine this. Really worried that he in uninsured and driving illegally. It would be terrible if he had an accident anyway but he could end up in serious trouble. What do people advise ?
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
842
Could you arrange for a "service" or "MOT" and take the car elsewhere? If you say there is a bit of work to be done (and then a bit more) you can perhaps keep it off the road that way. Perhaps recruit a family member or friend to collect the car to "take it to the garage"
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,393
My Dad’s driving licence has been suspended following a GP memory appointment and pending an appointment with the memory clinic. However, I suspect that my Dad is still going out in his car and either does not want to know or keeps forgetting. Should I try to get him to agree to me locking the car in the garage with a sign reminding him why ? If he won’t agree to this, what are my options ? I don’t know whether or not he should be driving and think medical advice should determine this. Really worried that he in uninsured and driving illegally. It would be terrible if he had an accident anyway but he could end up in serious trouble. What do people advise ?
When you say suspended do you mean it's simply advice from the memory clinic or dvla have actually told him not to drive.
 
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Bettusboo

Registered User
Aug 30, 2020
18
Can you lock the car in the garage & remove the keys?
I think I might try this. And leave notes to remind him that I have done this and why. Otherwise he is going to spend all his time stressing and looking for his keys.
 

Bettusboo

Registered User
Aug 30, 2020
18
When you say suspended do you mean it's simply advice from the memory clinic or dvla have actually told him not to drive, because it makes a difference legally.
He has ‘lost’ the letter from the DVLA but my understanding from meeting with the GP was that the DVLA has suspended his licence. But I will try to get clarification.
 

cobden 28

Registered User
Dec 15, 2017
78
He has ‘lost’ the letter from the DVLA but my understanding from meeting with the GP was that the DVLA has suspended his licence. But I will try to get clarification.
Assuming it's official that your Dad shouldn't drive - ie written notification from the DVLA, even if the letter has been 'lost' there shpould be a record of it having been sent - and if you suspect he's still driving against official instruction not to drive, if it was a relative of mine I'd be inclined to take a harsh view of the situation and would infrm the local police & the motor insurance company. Then if your Dad is stopped by the police for whatever reason and is required to prodice his driving licence & insurance details (which I believe can all be checked online nowadays) you have a perfectly valid reason for stopping your dad from having physical access to his car.

Perhaps your Dad might accept an official instruction not to drive if it came from the police or the court, rather than from you?
 

silkiest

Registered User
Feb 9, 2017
171
Hi @Bettusboo GP's cannot suspend licences - they can advise against driving or if they think your dad is a danger to himself or others they can contact DVLA and advise the removal of his licence. Cases of safety like this are the exception to their duty of confidentiality. It may be worth contacting the GP and finding if they have contacted DVLA and in what capacity.
When DVLA was notified re my MIL's dementia they sent a form for her to complete. It gave a time limit to reply and stated that if she did not reply her licence would be removed. If this is the kind of letter your dad had it is likely he no longer has a valid license.
If his license is no longer valid, then, whether the insurance company have been notified or not, the insurance is invalid and they will not pay out if there is an accident.
If he is still driving without a licence and if this is something he would never normally have done then he would appear to have lost capacity to make that decision. I have known several people use a variety of options to stop their PWD driving. One friend locked away the keys, another parked the car on a different street and for her loved one it was out of sight out of mind, another put an imobiliser boot on it and blamed the council. Be creative, you know your dad best, that will help you find a solution that works for you both. Good luck.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,889
South coast
Unfortunately, many people with dementia who have had their liscence revoked are unable to understand why they are no longer allowed to drive and will, therefore, not agree to stop. Usually the only solution is to physically prevent them from driving by moving or selling the car, hiding the keys or immobilising it in some way. Personnally, I think that out of sight, out of mind is the best solution, or the sight of the car may be a constant trigger for wanting to drive, but do whatever works. Be prepared for angry outbursts.
 

sunlover

Registered User
Dec 6, 2011
58
Hi @Bettusboo GP's cannot suspend licences - they can advise against driving or if they think your dad is a danger to himself or others they can contact DVLA and advise the removal of his licence. Cases of safety like this are the exception to their duty of confidentiality. It may be worth contacting the GP and finding if they have contacted DVLA and in what capacity.
When DVLA was notified re my MIL's dementia they sent a form for her to complete. It gave a time limit to reply and stated that if she did not reply her licence would be removed. If this is the kind of letter your dad had it is likely he no longer has a valid license.
If his license is no longer valid, then, whether the insurance company have been notified or not, the insurance is invalid and they will not pay out if there is an accident.
If he is still driving without a licence and if this is something he would never normally have done then he would appear to have lost capacity to make that decision. I have known several people use a variety of options to stop their PWD driving. One friend locked away the keys, another parked the car on a different street and for her loved one it was out of sight out of mind, another put an imobiliser boot on it and blamed the council. Be creative, you know your dad best, that will help you find a solution that works for you both. Good luck.
I remember we were on holiday and hubby drove golf cart into a wall! I said when we get home your not driving again.He accepted it.I
 

Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,493
Cornwall
Hi ok the older TP members will know I have been interested in Dementia driving sine my first reply in March 2005 believe me nothing much has changed.

From memory when I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1999 the Consultant did not mention anything about notifying DVLA however he moved away in 2002 and I was assigned to a new much younger Consultant who told me I had to Inform DVLA by law which I did , the procedure then was the patient notifies DVLA the DVLA would reply with a form to be completed and filled out by the Driving licence holder to give the Drivers consent for DVLA to contact the Drivers GP and Consultants in my case the whole process took 8 months to finalize

OK in my case it 18 years ago and things change but ( Remember there is such a thing as DATA PROTECTION ) but I’m still driving personally

but I think Dementia suffers who have careers ?? if that’s the case then Driving is a non-starter it’s pointless trying to retain a Driving license stands to reason if you require a career to look after you definitely shouldn’t be let loose in a Car
 

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Bettusboo

Registered User
Aug 30, 2020
18
Thank you for all these helpful answers. We had a good talk today and he swung between understanding and agreement not to drive and then not getting it all. He absolutely refused to let me take the keys or lock the garage. I have however left notes in the car and various strategic points on the way to the car as reminders. If that doesn’t work will have to try something more drastic so thank you all for the suggestions.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
398
This is a dangerous situation. If he has been advised not to drive by a doctor his insurance won't be valid. He could also kill someone. This is really difficult for family, I have been through this and the wounds are still not fully healed. You don't have legal rights sufficient to deal with but adequately unfortunately. If you have power of attorney you could do as I did and sell the car without his permission. It caused fury but did the job. Firstly you need to find out the true position as regards his licence. Only the DVLA can revoke or suspend a driving licence. They are a slow bureaucracy but it is worth contacting them especially if you have POA. Without POA they will tell you to mind your own business.

Another angle would be to get the GP to write to him telling him that he must not drive. It is no good the GP advising him not to drive because advice can be disregarded. A letter can not be forgotten, and perhaps you can get a copy of it. Certainly try and speak to the GP. He cannot ban a man from driving but the DVLA will act quickly if he asks them to. Remind him that public safety is threatened.

Another thing you can do is tell his insurance company but that won't work until you know the facts about what the DVLA have instructed. Without insurance he cannot drive.

Lastly I wonder if you could get a local community police officer to come and have a chat? That might make a strong impact. In the end the police would be your last resort if he drives illegally.

I had this debate before on here about whether a relative for good reason has the right to steal a car, car keys etc and of course you don't have the right to steal your father's property however desirable that might be. You could put a steering wheel lock on the car, that would not be theft!

It is incredibly difficult to steer a path here between maintaining the relationship with your dad, and protecting both him and pedestrians and other drivers from road accidents.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,889
South coast
I should just like to point out that if he has lost the capacity to understand that he is not allowed to drive, that you use POA to sell the car and put the money into an account that belongs to him, this is not theft. He may accuse you of stealing, but it is not. I had to sell mum home without her knowledge or permission when she moved into a care home, but that was not theft either.
 

Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,493
Cornwall
Thank you for all these helpful answers. We had a good talk today and he swung between understanding and agreement not to drive and then not getting it all. He absolutely refused to let me take the keys or lock the garage. I have however left notes in the car and various strategic points on the way to the car as reminders. If that doesn’t work will have to try something more drastic so thank you all for the suggestions.
Hi Bettusboo these is a little bit confusing because you did not make any reference to the DVLA or you dads age please tell us was your dad advised not drive by his Consultant or has he had notification from DVLA obviously if it was DVLA then he’s in trouble but if it’s the Consultant is only a recommendation ok there are some medical conditions which a GP would advisec a person to stop driving immediately but Dementia is not one of those
I still driving 21 years after diagnosed Ok I have always had full support from my Wife , Son & Daughter
ps I also ride Kawasaki 100sx motorcycle when its dry and sunny and I’m 78 :):):cool:

look at Alzheimer’s Web page Kawasaki
How does dementia affect your driving?
A diagnosis of dementia is not in itself a reason to stop driving. One in every three people with dementia still drives. What matters, from both a legal and a practical point of view, is whether the person is still able to drive safely.

For experienced motorists, driving may seem to be a largely automatic activity. In fact, driving is a complicated task that involves a combination of complex split-second thought processes as well as sensory (vision, hearing) and manual skills. For many people, it is a highly practised skill they've been doing for many years.

 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
398
I should just like to point out that if he has lost the capacity to understand that he is not allowed to drive, that you use POA to sell the car and put the money into an account that belongs to him, this is not theft. He may accuse you of stealing, but it is not. I had to sell mum home without her knowledge or permission when she moved into a care home, but that was not theft either.
This is all very true but only if the person has power of attorney or deputy status. There is a terrible gap in the system where family of a PWD are unable to protect the public because they don't have the right to interfere with an adult's life and decisions, and the process for stopping a person from driving via the DVLA takes weeks and may be thwarted if the PWD refuses medical examination.
 

Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,493
Cornwall
I assume that TP members realize that there are also TP members reading threads who are still living well with their own dementias and have still the ability to make their own decisions.

I like to point out there is such a thing as The Mental Capacity Act Decisions cannot be made for a person with dementia unless there is evidence that they can't make a decision for themselves.

What is mental capacity?
If you have 'mental capacity' you are able to make a particular decision for yourself. Mental capacity is not about someones capacity to make a range of decisions. The legal definition says that someone who lacks capacity cannot, due to an illness or disability such as a mental health problem, dementia or a learning disability, do the following:
  • understand information given to them to make a particular decision
  • retain that information long enough to be able to make the decision
  • use or weigh up the information to make the decision
  • communicate their decision
The Mental Capacity Act can apply to all sorts of decision such as:
  • major decisions such as decisions about personal finance, social care or medical treatment
  • everyday decisions such as decisions about what to wear or eat
The law works on the principle that everyone is assumed to have capacity to make decisions for themselves if they are given enough information, support and time. It protects your right to make your own decisions and to be involved in any decisions that affect you. Even if your decision appears unwise or eccentric, the Act makes clear that you should not be treated as lacking capacity for that reason.

Amendment to the Mental Capacity Act becomes law
The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act
On 16th May 2019 the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act gained Royal Assent, following a contested journey through Parliament. The Act provides an update on the 2005 Mental Capacity Act, a piece of legislation which sets out what should happen when a person lacks capacity to make one or more decisions for themselves. Barrister Steve Broach has written a detailed yet accessible update about the Bill process, which can accessed

The Act will introduce the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS), which is a new model to safeguard and protect individuals who lack capacity and may be deprived of their liberty during their care.

The need for an amendment

The current system, the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), has received significant and widespread criticism for creating a huge burden on the system and not adequately protecting vulnerable individuals.
 

Wishing20

Registered User
Feb 27, 2020
39
When my Mum who has Alzheimer’s was driving, she had 2 minor accidents and regularly didnt know how to start her car, once she had parked it somewhere. I worried every time she went out in it and decided I couldnt live with myself if she caused an accident and someone was killed or injured. I asked the Doctor when her one year licence review was due to say that he didn’t feel she should be driving, which he did. I then arranged for her car to be sold immediately. She wasn’t happy, but tbh not much about life makes her happy, she has Alzheimer’s, its ground her life down, she’s not able to do much at all, a terrible illness, inflicted on a wonderful lady, who lived life to the full.
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
1,208
Southampton
Assuming it's official that your Dad shouldn't drive - ie written notification from the DVLA, even if the letter has been 'lost' there shpould be a record of it having been sent - and if you suspect he's still driving against official instruction not to drive, if it was a relative of mine I'd be inclined to take a harsh view of the situation and would infrm the local police & the motor insurance company. Then if your Dad is stopped by the police for whatever reason and is required to prodice his driving licence & insurance details (which I believe can all be checked online nowadays) you have a perfectly valid reason for stopping your dad from having physical access to his car.

Perhaps your Dad might accept an official instruction not to drive if it came from the police or the court, rather than from you?
they dont do producers anymore but if its found he has no licence and/or insurance they will take the car away then you have to pay money to get it back
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
1,208
Southampton
i dont think anyone wants to take a decision on behalf of someone else if they mentally aware and have capacity to reason objectively that they can still drive and wont cause accidents. what is being said is the person doesnt know their driving skills could cause an accident and they have deteriated due to the progression of dementia. my husband was a lorry driver for 40yrs and drove tractors on farm before he left school at 14yrs. he loved driving and still goes on about it now. it was a whole way of life not just a career choice. we dont have a car and i dont intend getting one. he still talks about it. the first defence was we cant afford to run one, second was i suggested his reactions maybe a bit slower than needed. hes reluctantly accepted it and has his bus pass which gives him the independence or we go on the coach so he can enjoy the journey and someone else does the driving. i drip feed him information so he thinks hes the one that makes the decisions. its obviously different dynamics between parents and children than husband and wife and needs different ways of tackling it