I haven't been here for a while and don't intend to stop, but I just wanted to inform people of something that has just happened to me to give fair warning.
A few months ago, having read that I should have informed DVLA of my diagnosis in spite of the fact that my condition had never affected my ability to drive (in fact, I think it had improved it), I duly downloaded the DVLA notification form and filled it in. I stipulated that my condition had never had an adverse impact on my driving ability. I have held my licence for over 40 years and have never had so much as a single point on it. No accidents. No speeding fines or convictions. No police stops. No DUIs. Nothing. Recently, I started to do minibus driving in my new job, taking some of the home's residents out on day trips. I had a driving assessment prior to that and was told I was an easy pass because I was safe, vigilant and confident. A good driver.
One of the questions asked on the form was whether I had visited my GP in the last six months for reasons related to my condition. I said 'Yes', because of the bullying issue in my last job which had caused so many problems and had led to extended sick leave (and my finally leaving the job). The sick notes I was given, ongoing, by my GP said 'Anxiety and stress related to ASC.' So, it was an honest answer.
A short time after I sent in the form, I got a letter from DVLA stating that they would be writing to my GP for verification.
Today, I got another letter from them. I cannot drive. My licence is cancelled and I must return it. I must also take any vehicle I may have off the road and apply for a SORN, as the tax is now also cancelled.
The reason? One of the questions asked of my GP was whether I had had any history of alcohol problems. She said 'Yes', which is right. The next question was about whether I had managed to control the problem for a period of longer than three months. She answered 'No'. Not really correct - but correct in terms of their definition of 'control', which basically means drinking less than the recommended weekly 14 units. My drinking has never affected my ability to drive quite simply because I would never drive whilst incapable through intoxication, or 'under the influence'. For DVLA purposes, though, that's beside the point.
I haven't actually seen my GP since Christmas, so she has no idea of how things have been for me since then. I'm sober now, have been for some time, and have no intention of restarting drinking. I'm happy in my new job and am turning my life around. In most respects, things have been on the up.
I've rung DVLA and had it out with them, civilly, and they've informed me the decision stands. I can't drive for six months - unless my GP is willing to provide evidence that she may not have given full enough information about me. When I get my licence back, too, I may have lost 'grandad' rights on it and just get the licence that everyone gets now, without the D1 category I need to drive the larger vehicles at work.
I've also rung my manager and explained the situation, and she's told me not to worry. But it looks bad. It looks like I've been deceiving them about my health and my driving, which I haven't. They know about my ASC and my MH history. They like the job I'm doing, so I don't think I need to worry about losing my job. But I'll have to explain it all, and it may make things difficult in other ways - not least because they've had to pay out for this driving assessment for a driving job I can no longer do. To all intents and purposes, it's as if I've lost my licence (albeit temporarily) for a DUI or something. This could have other impacts along the line with insurance, etc.
The bottom line is: I'm being penalised for doing nothing wrong. For being honest, in fact, and informing the correct authorities. In a reversal of the usual legal principle that applies in other cases, I'm being adjudged as guilty until I can prove my innocence. Surely, my driving record should be proof enough. Not so.
So... just to let you know what you might get if you let them know, as you are supposed to, and they write to your GP. Even if your condition has never affected your ability to drive, other aspects of your doctor's report may have an impact.
And you may end up without a licence - even if your driving record has been as long and as spotless as mine.
I hope you are all well.
This is the 'guidance' the DVLA and the doctor seem to be following:
I will leave it to those interested to draw their own conclusions.
I am sorry that this happened to you. I followed the same procedure but I was told by DVLA that they had sent out medical forms to me and I was not to fill them in because I had informed them honestly of my autism and that it does not affect my driving. I duly received the forms and did not complete them. Then I received the letter I had to sign to identify that my autism did not affect my driving. Then I received a letter confirming that I should continue to drive and only inform DVLA if my autism affects my driving. In my case I was honest and it worked for me. I hope this is resolved for you.
I was honest with them, too. I was told to download and fill in the form, notifying them both that I was autistic and that my autism did not affect my ability to drive. I think what triggered them to write to my GP was the further question asking whether I had visited my GP in the last six months for a reason connected with my autism. Again, I answered 'Yes' because that was the truth. My GP had signed me off in December with 'stress and anxiety related to autistic spectrum condition'. This was because of the bullying situation in my last job. The impact it was having on me seemed, to my employers (ironically, autism care 'specialists'), to be excessive and disproportionate. The sick note triggered a referral to occupational health, where my condition was given the appropriate acknowledgement.
My argument is that the focus of the DVLA investigations should have been my autism, and my reason for visiting my GP in relation to it. The question, after all, is very specific: Has your autism ever affected your ability to drive? The question about a history of alcohol misuse (whilst this can, of course, be related to people who self-medicate to mitigate the effects of their condition) is something else. If DVLA were to write to every GP to discover which of their patients had a history of alcohol misuse, I'm sure we would see far fewer drivers on the road! They have used the declaration of 'autism', it seems, as a kind of Trojan Horse to gain access to other factors of my medical history. Then, from that, they've added 2 and 2 and made 5. Their extrapolation is, as I said, highly presumptive. They're assuming that my history of alcohol misuse indicates an inability to drive safely until further medical evidence can be obtained to counter that assumption.
The nasty pieces of s**te were on watchdog last week to.
Seems the DVLA SCUM BAGS have lost hundreds of customers licenses and way more too!
How about they actually show thier pathetic pieces of s**te faces and explain there ableist prejudiced ways - total SCUM
edited by moderator
Seems he has no way out of it then, according to the rules he has been driving illegally
Do you realise that this is a symptom of fascism?
We're frog marching headlong into hell.
Guess no one cares.
Well, first it starts with curtailing the rights of disabled people and ethnic minorities.
Then we have Farage as our Fuhrer.