The laws vary by state, but every state regulates the driver's license eligibility of persons with medical conditions, particularly those that result in seizures, such as epilepsy. Variables will determine the rights of the person to have the legal ability to drive restored.
Mandatory reporting laws in some states require physicians who diagnose and treat seizure disorders such as epilepsy to report identifying information and details to either the department of public safety or the department of motor vehicles. Physicians can be fined or, in some cases, jailed if the person they did not report has an accident.
The most common condition for drivers who have suffered a convulsion is a physician's statement that seizures are under control and that the person can drive safely. Most states require that persons be seizure-free for a period of time before a driver's license is restored and that medical reports be submitted regularly.
The type of seizure and its cause determine both medical treatment and prognosis, which both relate to public safety and the ability of the person to drive safely. If seizures are not likely to recur, in cases such as infection or minor head injury in which the condition resolves completely, driving privileges may not be revoked or will be restored quickly. In seizure disorders such as epilepsy, the variables may be the type of seizure, when it typically occurs, and whether the person experiences warning signs that give him time to pull over and park.
If a seizure disorder is controlled with medications, the side effects of those medications, such as dizziness or drowsiness, may make it inadvisable for the person to drive, and their license will not be restored.
Having a seizure can cause a person to lose consciousness and to lose control of her vehicle. Falling asleep while under the influence of medications can have the same result.
The period of time it takes to undergo treatment, get a physician's release and meet the requirement to be seizure-free as mandated by state law may vary from three months to one year. This can be a hardship for people who rely on their ability to drive for work or other necessities. Alternate methods of transportation may need to be arranged.
- Photo Credit GFreeman23, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
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