Concerned about someone driving?If you are concerned that a family member, friend or acquaintance can no longer safely operate a motor vehicle, you may request that Driver and Vehicle Services evaluate the at-risk driver.
By: Mary Krueger, Douglas County Senior Coordinator, Alexandria Echo Press
If you are concerned that a family member, friend or acquaintance can no longer safely operate a motor vehicle, you may request that Driver and Vehicle Services evaluate the at-risk driver.
If you are related to the driver, your statement is confidential and the evaluator will not reveal your identity unless ordered to do so by a court of law.
An at-risk driver is one who no longer has the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Age alone does not make an individual an at-risk driver. Some health problems that may affect driving ability are:
--Stroke/arthritis – inability to tightly grip a steering wheel, reduced physical strength, inability to easily move foot from gas to brake pedal, inability to look over shoulder.
--Dementia – reduced ability to react quickly and decisively to traffic conditions and confusion.
--Severe eye ailments – lessened ability to focus on objects and shift focus quickly, reduced peripheral vision, poor night vision, sensitivity to glare.
--Medication side effects/drug interaction – drowsiness, blurred vision, dizziness, muscle relaxation.
--Hearing loss – inability to hear high-pitched sounds, hearing loss that leads to inattentive driving.
--Catastrophic or chronic disease, such as Parkinson’s.
--Diabetes – a driver who is insulin dependent is required to submit a doctor’s statement regarding his/her ability to drive safely. If diabetes is controlled by oral medication this is not required.
--Loss of consciousness or voluntary control – loss of the ability to assume and retain an upright posture without support or the inability to respond rationally to external stimuli.
--Poor vision – screening is required at the time you apply for or renew your driver’s license. Normal or corrected vision must be at least 20/40 and peripheral vision must be at least 105 degrees.
There is no special form to fill out. Your request must be in writing and include the following information:
--Full name and date of birth of the at-risk driver.
--Description of the condition/explanation of why you believe the person is an at-risk driver.
--Your name, address and phone number.
Send your request to: Driver and Vehicle Services, Attn: Medical Unit, 445 Minnesota St., Suite 170, St. Paul, MN 55106.
Driver and Vehicles Services will schedule an appointment with the at-risk driver with a driver evaluator. The at-risk driver will receive a letter with the date and time of the appointment. If the at-risk driver fails to respond to the letter or keep the appointment, his or her driving privileges may be cancelled.
After the interview is concluded, the evaluator may require the at-risk driver to submit a written physician’s or vision statement and pass a driver’s license test (knowledge and skills).
If it is determined that the at-risk driver must surrender his/her driver’s license, the at-risk driver is still eligible for a Minnesota photo identification card.
You can also contact the DVS by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (651) 296-2025.