How to appeal against loss of driving license

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by PeteB, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. PeteB

    PeteB Registered User

    Nov 12, 2005
    1
    Essex
    My father-in-law suffers from mild dementia...he was given a new driving license on a 1 year basis last year and recently had his annual check. Unfortunately the result that has come back is that he has been told not to drive.

    I wondered if anyone out there had some advice on appealing against the decision, as they will hopefully have medical evidence from their specialist that his condition has not changed since last year.

    My mother-in-law has mentioned that in the notes they say you can appeal but that it's expensive and you have to go through a Magistrate's court.

    Has anyone out there appealed, and if so, has anyone actually been successful?

    Thanks!
     
  2. twink

    twink Registered User

    Oct 28, 2005
    265
    Cambridgeshire UK
    driving

    Hi,

    When my husband Steve was diagnosed in August this year with AD, the psychiatrist said I must tell you, you shouldn't drive. Steve took it in that he had AD without a murmer but when the doctor said don't drive, I thought he was going to blow a gasket! Anyway, the doctor then gave us a phone number for a place in Norfolk (they have a few all over the country but not sure where) and Steve went to take what I call a "special test". He did so terribly badly at the cognitive test that they have before the actually driving assessment, they weren't even going to bother taking him out on the road. They decided to give him a chance which was good as we had paid £80 for this and he passed the driving assessment with flying colours! To his credit, he had driven a large 4x4 which was an automatic for thepast 10 years and we had just bought a smaller manual car one week before the test so Steve passed! He didn't go out in our car for the assessment, he had to use one of their cars.

    If you look on this website www.kmacmobil.org.uk it might tell you what you need to know. As I said, we went to nearby Norfolk and they charged us £80 and i know there is one in Derbyshire (no good to you either) and tney charge £90 for some reason. If you can't get anything on the website, try ringing the one we went to, they were great and would definitely give you the number of one near to you. The Thetford one is on 01842 753029.

    Good luck

    Sue/Twink
     
  3. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
    Hi Twink and PeteB,

    I think that Twink has some great advice in getting your father-in-law's driving ability assessed independently. The main thing is to get an accurate understanding of what his driving abilities really are. This may or may not support the decision of the DVLA to revoke his license, but at least you will have felt that you gave it a fair shot.

    From what I've read here and there, it's actually quite difficult to construct a test that assesses the level of risk associated with driving in people with dementia. They may be fine on local roads with good visibility under predictable conditions. The risks relate to those less predictable instances where good reflexes and spilt-second decisions are required - like a child chasing a ball out into the road or signs marking out a diversion to accomodate roadworks.

    By the way, the company that Twink mentioned now runs a centre in Coggeshall, Essex if that is any good:

    http://www.dda.org.uk/Admin/Whats_New/ViewNews.asp?NewsId=3907

    Here is the DVLA's list of all such centres:

    http://www.dvla.gov.uk/at_a_glance/annex2.htm

    The MIND website has a good FAQ about the licensing question, including the appeals process:

    http://www.mind.org.uk/Information/Legal/driving.htm

    Of course, the Alzheimer's Society has a very good factsheet on this as well:

    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/After_diagnosis/Driving_and_travelling/info_driving.htm

    The loss of a driving license can be a real loss of independence and, hard as it may be to accept, at some time in the future (if not now) it will be unsafe for your father-in-law to drive.

    Please let me just play devil's advocate for a moment. Some relatives might see the DVLA decision as a bit of a relief - at least the decision has been made based on medical evidence by an outside agency. This means that they will not have to be the ones to tell their loved one that they are not able to drive safely any longer.

    If you decide to challenge the DVLA decision, you might just ask yourself (and other family members and your father-in-law) what set of circumstances would need to arise for you to decide that the risks associated with driving were not worth taking?

    Take care and keep posting,

    Sandy
     
  4. twink

    twink Registered User

    Oct 28, 2005
    265
    Cambridgeshire UK
    Hi Twink

    Hiya Sandy,

    I have a bit of a problem in that I don't drive and I sit next to Steve watching like a hawk for any 'mistakes' he might make but of course I suppose I'd only really know the major ones, if he went through a red light or something. I always look to see if he indicates but as a non-driver, I don't know exactly what I am looking for. If I do start to feel the slightest bit worried that he isn't fit to drive then I would certaily do something about it. We will be well and truly stuck when he has to give his license up but if he isn't safe, then he HAS to. I forgot to say, when Steve had passed his test, we were sent a report from the people who took him for the test and who did the congitive test and then I had to send a copy off to the DVLA and also to his insurance company. I suppose if you are a driver you will know you have to do that, I didn't!!!!

    Regards,

    Sue
     
  5. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
    Hi Twink,

    First of all, let me say - Welcome to Talking Point :) It's nice to have another member from the flatlands of East Anglia.

    I wasn't trying to imply that your husband isn't safe to drive. You sound very conscientious and are trying to do your best for him while still having everyone's safety in mind.

    I was just trying to say to PeteB that this is a fork in the road type situation and having his father-in-law take a driving test is one possible route to take, and might be a very good one at this point in time.

    As my father-in-law never drove, this has not really been an AD issue for us. But as my husband is an insulin-dependent diabetic, we have some experience with having to get medical reports sent to the DVLA on a periodic basis.

    The only really good reference I could find this morning on driving and dementia comes from the Australian Alzheimer's Association and it does a very good job of outlining the research/issues involved (it is a pdf file):

    http://www.alzheimers.org.au/upload/driving aav paper.pdf

    The paper does highlight the problems with using tests like the MMSE as a measure for driving abilities. It seems like the actual driving test is one of the better ways to evalute skills. However, this test will need to be repeated over time to detect changes in abilities.

    The article does mention that some families use your approach and have a "co-pilot" in the car when the person with AD is driving.

    Take care,

    Sandy
     
  6. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    My Dad worked for many years as a driver, while my Mum has never driven, but she was Dad's "co-pilot". Mum was always a nervous passenger, so when she started to report that Dad was driving badly I just put it down to her being nervous as usual. Eventually, though, when Mum was clearly very concerned and it was obvious that Dad's worsening erratic behaviour would have to be affecting his driving ability (aswell as everything else), we all - apart from Dad - thought it was for the best that he should stop. I'm sure you'll know when that is, Twink/Sue.

    When I take them out for a drive now, and we're waiting at a junction, Dad will often try to encourage me to pull out when it's clearly not safe. For instance, he counts down the cars on just one side before there's a gap in the traffic, but he's not looking the other way. We do have to snigger when I've eventually pulled out and he says a very satisfied "love-ly"!
     
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Hi all, this thread echoes the concerns we had for both M in L and my Uncle, (now sadly deceased) With M in L, it was my son coming home one evening, saying that there was a great hold up of cars going slowly round a roundabout near us. As the queue approached, there, right in the middle of the road, stopping both lanes and travelling at walking speed was M in L! She didn't see him waiting of course, too busy desperately trying to hold it together. My son was in a right state about it when he got home though. After that we had several more little incidents, including the not looking properly one and I forbade my own Mum to travel with her. (OK, so I was selfish, but how do you stop them!) Eventually it came to a head, my hubby and his sister decided that enough was enough, sister in law was bought a new car out of M in L's money, old car was scrapped and she is now both taxi driver and main carer to M in L who enjoys being chauffered about. My uncle, my aunt used to sit on the edge of her seat, the last straw was when he left a roundabout and entered the lane travelling in the wrong direction. The GP stopped him then. Its a big worry isn't it. Love She. XX :(
     
  8. twink

    twink Registered User

    Oct 28, 2005
    265
    Cambridgeshire UK
    Driving

    Hi Sandy,

    I wasn't thinking you were trying to imply anything lol, I never gave it a thought, I was just saying that not being a driver I don't know what's good driving and what isn't. Sorry if you misunderstood me. I always feel uncomfortable talking abut anyone's driving when I'm not one and know nothing. I wasn't being funny honest lol!!! I suppose I have sat there next to people driving for enough years to know when something is very wrong and I will tell Steve when I think it's time to stop driving. He will be so upset and life will be hard without a car but as my Mum says, I haven't got a car and I have to get the bus so that puts me in my place!!!

    I noticed you were from East Anglia. It is VERY flat isn't it!! Specially when you come from the beautiful Yorkshire!! We like it here though but live in a town that hasn't much in the way of girly shops!!!! That's probably just as well considering we rely on the wonderful DSS who give us very little per week.

    Best wishes,

    Sue
     
  9. JANICE

    JANICE Registered User

    Jun 28, 2005
    23
    SOUTHAMPTON
    driving

    Hi Twink,

    Cars and driving have featured largely in our weekend so I was very interested to read all the posts on the subject this morning. Keith lost his licence immediately he got the diagnosis and was absolutely devasted and periodically he gets very down about not being able to drive and seems to resent the fact that I now have the car. Last week the car sales where we got our last car from called and asked if we would be interested in updating so I thought we would go along and see what they had to offer. All was going well and we decided to change our current car and get a new one. Only problem is none of us realised (my daughter and her boyfriend came with us) that Keith thought we were buying a car for me and he was getting the other one back for him. Consequently he has been in a deep depression ever since I had to explain to him last night that wasn't the case. Now I am wishing I had never thought of getting a new one as it has stirred up all the problems and resentment again of him not being able to drive.

    On the subject of driving, have you not thought of learning to drive yourself. I know its a bit daunting but it's suprising what you can do when you have to. I had practically given up driving because Keith is such a bad passenger that I let him drive everywhere. When he lost his licence it was either a case of get rid of the car and bus/walk everywhere or get in the car again. Well I braved it and since then I have driven in France several times and towed a folding camper - something I thought I would never do. It's surprising where you find the strength from sometimes when your back's against the wall.

    Best wishes and take care


    Janice
     
  10. twink

    twink Registered User

    Oct 28, 2005
    265
    Cambridgeshire UK
    driving

    Hi Janice,

    I'm so sorry to hear about Keith being upset about not being able to drive. Steve is going to be absolutely miserable too when the time comes that he can't. I really dread it.

    I knew it wouldn't be long before someone asked if I had thought to learn to drive! lol. It is SO selfish but I really don't want to. I have never learned, not a lesson, nothing. Old friends have tried talking me into it and I have always said no - because Steve could drive!!! You don't think of things like this happening when you are young do you!! I have no idea why I feel so strongly about not learning but the thought terrifies me. I suppose it's hard to understand for people who do drive. I've always been so set against it. One of the reasons now of course is money. No way can we afford lessons. I'm not sure how much they are now but unforutnately we are on benefits and the money we have left at the end of each month is, believe it or not, less than £5. To spend how we like, on luxuries!!! lol We have a good bus service and a very good train service here so I will rely on those I expect. All because I'm a coward!!!

    When we saw the psychiatrist and he diagnosed Steve, he said I have to tell you, you shouldn't drive. Steve was devastated and said please don't make me stop driving so the doctor then gave us the phone number of the place Steve went for his driving assessment. I wonder how many people who are tld not to drive just accept that. Steve was quite distressed which was the reason the doctor gave us the phone number.

    A totally different question here. Could someone tell me where to go to see what the stages of AD are please? I can't find that anywhere. I'd like to see where Steve comes in that.

    Thanks.

    Take care,

    Sue/Twink
     
  11. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
  12. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    #12 Kriss, Nov 15, 2005
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2005
    Hi Sue

    we dreaded Dad losing his independence, he had driven all of his life commuting many miles daily to work and chauferring us all around the country. He was the worlds best driver, calm, considerate, and selfless. Mum had come back a few times laughing that he had got lost in less than familier territory trying to make light of it but looking back it was one of those indicaters that all was not well. Coming back from a visit to my Aunt one day he made the mistake of going North on the Motorway instead of South but then despite Mum "navigating" at every junction asking/suggesting/telling him he needed to take the exit he seemed unable to follow the instruction. They went for miles in dark wet nasty driving conditions eventually finding theirway home thankfully with no damage done to themselves or anyone else. When Dad was taken ill with a heart problem that gave us the excuse to tell him he wasn't allowed to drive - we took the cowards route, we weren't brave enough to tell him otherwise.

    We had not been worried particularly about Aunts driving although we only got to see her occasionally but on one of my visits I took her out in my car and on reaching a set of traffic lights she insisted (strongly!) that I could move off against a red light!!! It was a filter system and had we been turning left she would have been correct but needing to go right we most definitely had to wait. The alarm bells all starting ringing together. Still being cowards we tried to hint gently that perhaps she should restrict her outings to the local shop run. However her first hospital admission followed an episode when she was seen going through a red light and then found pulled over and unable to communicate properly. Following this a local policeman got in touch to tell us he had a reported minor"accident" where the driver had not stopped and he believed that it was Aunt who had been involved (the dents and scratches on the car matched the reported damage though on inspection we discovered lots more unexplained dents and scratches) so the wheels were set in motion and fortunateley her GP having had the full story from me first told her directly she should no longer drive "while her health was checked". It wasn't received well and taking advice from the policeman we had to disable the car (letting the garage and her neighbours know) just in case. Living so far away we could do little else. So you see we were one of those who found the loss of the driving licence to be a great relief.

    It is different for everyone and I feel terribly for what you are going through but driving these days is so pressurised and you have to be fit enough to drive for everyone else on the road as well as yourself. It may only take a moment of confusion and you could end up in a major accident (the angels must have been watching over Aunt when she went through those red lights) but your responsibility is not only to your husband and his passengers but to other roadusers and even pedestrians. Imagine how you or your husband would feel if the worst were to happen? I realise that there are many drivers out there totally fit and healthy who are probably more of a danger through their own pure ignorance and stupidity but with the knowledge you have of what you may be facing please think carefully before you proceed further with an appeal.

    I'm so sorry to be so negative, it is tearing at my heart just typing these words as I really do know what you are going through.

    Best of luck
    Kriss

    ps Aunt will still try to tell us to drive on at that Red light filter when we take her out!
     
  13. twink

    twink Registered User

    Oct 28, 2005
    265
    Cambridgeshire UK
    driving

    Hi Kriss,

    Believe me, if I even think Steve isn't driving properly I will do something about it. He has to have another assessment next August but I will be watching like a hawk and if he stops driving as well as he does now, I wouldn't hesitate to take steps to have him stopped. He did "pass with flying colours" last August and he had been driving an automatic for the past 10 years and had only just gone back to a manual the week before so he did well. I absolutely agree with you, I think of others on the road, older people walking slowly across and young children rushing out. We live in a smallish town and he does drive very carefully around here. If he does manage to get to his next assessment next August and fails, there is no way I would appeal. I suppose after being driven around all my life it will be hard to get a bus or train but you soon get used to these things and Mum lives 160 miles from me in Yorkshire and she has to go shopping and get the bus every day at 76 so I'll be able to do it too.

    You're not being negative, just caring and I thank you for that. It's a great group this, everyone is so helpful and kind. I don't think you were being cowards either telling Dad he should to stop driving, we do and say things to try not to hurt their feelings don't we.

    I'm going out today! I'm going to a garden centre near Cambridge with some ladies from the carers support group and am looking forward to it!!!

    Speak later,

    Take care

    Sue
     
  14. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Hi all, I suppose I was lucky in that I stopped Lionel driving altogether some two years before he was diagnosed. Over a period of time I realised his concentration was not 100% so I did not let him drive my grandchildren.

    Then, because he went up to London to work by train, I took over driving him at weekends, by saying I preferred to drive his car (it was newer than mine). After six months he said we did not need 2 cars, so I convinced him to let me drive his all the time and sold mine.

    Strangely he never kicked up a fuss, I think he realised something was wrong, but as I say this was long before diagnosis. Lionel’ spatial awareness and co-ordination were the first things to go. Yes looking back we were lucky. Connie
     
  15. twink

    twink Registered User

    Oct 28, 2005
    265
    Cambridgeshire UK
    stages

    Hi All,

    I keep trying to click onto the link for the stages of dementia but every time I do it tells me this page cannot be displayed so I'm no wiser now!

    Thanks for trying anyway.

    Twinl/Sue
     
  16. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
  17. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Here's a pdf version of the web pages in case they change the web stuff again
     

    Attached Files:

  18. twink

    twink Registered User

    Oct 28, 2005
    265
    Cambridgeshire UK
    Stages

    Hi Sandy,

    Thank you very much for your post - and thank you to Bruce too. I am improving but still finding my way around this forum!!! I have only just found your post from yesterday.

    I have had a very quick look as Steve is chatting to me from the lounge but from that quick look, I THINK he is at Stage 4 - the 1234 bit, does that make sense?

    I had a great time at the garden centre thanks, I am 53, the other ladies were 70 and over and it was ME whingeing about my feet aching! How embarrassing!!! They were fitter than me most of them!!! I've become a couch potato since I finished work!! It was just Huntingdon Garden and Leisure, didn't seem to have another name. They were talking about a Wyvales in Peterborough so I might see if I can find that one day.

    I have saved the 'stages' to my favourites because I've spent ages looking for it and knowing me, I'll never find it again if I don't.

    Take care,

    Sue
     

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