Driving on a rescinded licence

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by kpp, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. kpp

    kpp Registered User

    May 26, 2014
    6
    Hello,

    My mom has Alzheimer’s diagnosed about a year ago. She lives on her own. She has carers three times a day to check on her, taking tablets and eating. I have Power of Attorney for finance and property. I order her food online and pay all her bills. My brother lives locally and takes her to the Doctors and whatever other appointments she may have; otherwise she has a history of not going to appointments. She would never voluntarily go into a care home.

    She does not accept she has Alzheimer’s and says any memory problem is due to normal aging. She claims to live a normal life and manages all her own affairs. This is not true but it is what she believes.

    Over the last year, the DVLA were informed of her illness and after a diving assessment and Doctors assessment, her driving licence has been rescinded three weeks ago. Neither I nor my brother was informed and we only found out by chance at her Doctor’s appointment two days ago. This has since been confirmed by DVLA via phone. There is no record of a letter informing mom of the rescinded licence at her home, we can only assume she has disposed of it.

    Somewhat bizarrely, both Doctor and DVLA say they couldn’t inform us or let us have a copy of the DVLA letter due to “data protection”. Mom says it isn’t true she has a rescinded licence and there is nothing in black and white to say so.

    Now the big problem; She has a car and has been driving without a licence for three weeks. She has said in the past that no matter what DVLA says, she will still drive. My brother, a Police Officer has taken the car to his house initially with her permission to sell it although she now says he has stolen it. On top of that, she threatens to buy another car for which she does have sufficient bank funds to do so.

    So we are left with three issues;
    1. Have we stolen the car in law? My brother can’t afford this kind of accusation given his job.
    2. If we return the car, she will drive illegally and given her condition, dangerously. She will become a danger to herself and other road users. Don’t we have a moral duty to prevent her driving?
    3. If we don’t return the car and she does buy another, how can we prevent her from driving? According to my brother, the Police would have to catch her driving to take any action. Even if that Police action was to take the car away, it wouldn’t stop her buying yet another one.

    We are running out of ideas. We see a dangerous person breaking the law and putting herself and others at risk. Any advice on how we can handle this problem?
     
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,740
    Female
    London
    I thought you had power of attorney. Has she still access to her money then? Please exercise your power in her best interest. I doubt that without mental capacity she is legally able to buy a car - you can't enter into a contract with someone who has no capacity to do so. But the easiest would probably be to return the car but disable it so she won't be able to drive it.
     
  3. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,987
    Suffolk
    She will not, of course, have valid insurance either.
     
  4. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,776
    Salford
    Hi kpp

    1. Have we stolen the car in law? My brother can’t afford this kind of accusation given his job. - I don't believe any court in the land would find you guilt of theft and even the CPS would ever bring a case against you.

    2. If we return the car, she will drive illegally and given her condition, dangerously. She will become a danger to herself and other road users. Don’t we have a moral duty to prevent her driving? - yes you owe it to all of us to get her off the road if her condition is as bad as you and the doctors think so.

    3. If we don’t return the car and she does buy another, how can we prevent her from driving? According to my brother, the Police would have to catch her driving to take any action. Even if that Police action was to take the car away, it wouldn’t stop her buying yet another one. - comes up on here all the time and is impossible to answer, given her attitude " She has said in the past that no matter what DVLA says, she will still drive" you are in a bit of a hole, as the police advised they would have to catch her first, I've never seen an answer to this issue where the authorities can help although many seen to hope a letter from the DVLA will do the trick in your case it won't.
    If the worse comes to the worse (and I sincerely hope it doesn't) then her insurance would almost certainly be invalid too so potentially she could be sued for any damage caused. My only thought is where is she driving to and why? Is there any way you could remove the need for her to drive somehow?
    Failing that just do the potato up the exhaust trick we did as kids that'll stop her going anywhere (not that I sever did it) might work or just remove the ignition fuse.
    K
     
  5. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    5,306
    Female
    Chester
    #5 jugglingmum, Mar 13, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
    Disable the car and make sure whoever she might get out to fix it knows what you've done, and why.

    My mum was rescued by the police when she got lost 100 miles off route, and not allowed to drive again as no insurance, a few weeks later she thought she had insurance (we had removed keys). They said they couldn't tell if it was just because she had got lost that she was agitated so didn't charge her with anything, but would have done if we'd asked. She was so determined to drive she would have forgotten it anyway if police had told her to stop
     
  6. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    1,082
    Brazil
    When it was my mom's time. I asked a friend to damage the engine (on a way easily fixed later in order to sell it).

    Does anyone has POA? If so, use it to remove her access to her money.
     
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,777
    Female
    South coast
    Get your brother to keep her car out of sight - he has not stolen it, he is preventing her from breaking the law.
    Do you know where she might buy another car from eg a local garage? If so, inform them that she no longer has a valid license.
    Eventually she will forget about driving.
     
  8. Blackfield

    Blackfield Registered User

    Mar 8, 2015
    21
    the driving issue has been a major problem with my dad, but for the sake of other road users we have had to stop him driving. It's all a conspiracy of course as there's nothing wrong with him and he is perfectly capable of driving. However all the family agreed we could never forgive ourselves if someone got hurt because we could not face the arguments and accusations. I have dad's car and take mum & dad out in it nearly every day which has certainly helped, but it will never solve the problem of him not being able to drive. My mum denied he had Alzheimer's for over three years because she couldn't face him losing his licence and the anger that would follow. Now they have moved close to me I can defuse most of the nastiness at the moment.
     
  9. kpp

    kpp Registered User

    May 26, 2014
    6
    Thank you for the comments. It has helped in the family’s discussion of what to do next. These are the thoughts and actions we have taken in case anyone else has a similar problem.

    By denying access to her own money, she would become extremely nasty and she has many bank accounts which are not all POA registered yet, she may find a way or raising the cash. It still beats me why she has spread her money but she’s adamant consolidation isn’t what she wants to the point where in the past I have managed to consolidate; she accuses me of stealing her life savings and lets anyone who will listen know about it. Denying access is only something I would do as a very last resort if she actually does try to buy a car, rather than only threaten to do so. Having said that, she insists on withdrawing her own pocket money and it causes the local bank staff problems every time. The bank manager has my cell phone on “friends and family”. So I doubt her capacity to actually gather the funding for a new car.

    We did actually disable the car for a few months last year. She managed to call out a mechanic which turned into a frantic scramble when she couldn’t pay him. Frustratingly, she had the cash in the house but forgot about it and tried to pay with a debit card she had previously lost, reported stolen and then found again. We’ve since removed all trade directories from the house and keep an eye out for new ones posted through the door.

    In discussion with the family this week end, we believe she doesn’t have the capacity to buy a new car. This means if she does want to buy one, she will ask someone for help. We’ve listed who she may ask and let them all know what has happened to her licence and car.

    Finally, we may be getting through to her that driving without licence is bad. The entire family have each discussed with her in person or by phone over the past four days and given her a consistent message;
    1. the licence is rescinded by DVLA, it’s not our fault or yours, it’s a medical decision
    2. driving without a licence is illegal and could result in spell behind a cell door
    3. your insurance is void and driving without insurance is illegal. If in an accident it could result in being sued for more money than in your savings & property
    4. the car has been taken away to remove any temptation, it’s in your own interests
    She has heard this message from each of the family repeatedly; I personally have said it about eight times. It is consistent; we all say exactly the same thing. We think this message is getting through; she is now talking of selling the car, using taxis or public transport or moving house. Lots of negative points but at least conversation has moved away from driving.

    I like the comment “just keep swimming”. It says it all; there is no rest for the family only new challenges.
     
  10. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    5,306
    Female
    Chester
    #10 jugglingmum, Mar 16, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
    Well done for taking the decision as a family.

    For a while after I first took the keys I told mum she had no insurance etc, she never accepted she wasn't up to driving, and no amount of telling her would have worked but she did understand the no insurance and road tax.

    Then suddenly about 6 months later she started saying she didn't understand why she couldn't drive, whilst distraction by changing the subject worked, she knew what I had done and knew I wouldn't talk about it and 15 months later still thinks I am just being awkward, but doesn't dare raise it with me. She had forgotten she had no insurance and kept saying she had sent a cheque off (she did and they don't take cheques - the year before she would have put her card details on the form)

    What I am trying to say is my mum understood for a bit but now can't at all but is easy to distract.

    Hope it doesn't take to long to settle down
     

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