My husband just received his reinstatement notice yesterday, after his license being suspended following a head injury 13 months ago. Here's what we experienced:
- License suspended following accident
- He discussed getting it back with Dr. and all agreed he was ready. MTO medical forms completed and sent via fax to MTO Oct. 9th, 2013
- Notice received Nov. 8th that application was approved, further notice to arrive via mail
- Temporary license card arrives in mail Nov. 14, no fee payable, notified that regular license should arrive in the coming weeks (with picture)
- Celebration ensues!
This is somewhat the answer, except my concerns are why there is a discrepancy on two supposedly official sites on the internet, Let's take this a step further. How is the individual protected from loose or shabby practices in the process. Let us cover some salient points. Here is what happened to one individual. I am not going to reveal the identity of the person but this actually occurred. Though this person had been somewhat of a heavier drinker than normal that person had been overdoing it a bit of late to the point of getting an attack of tremors. He went to the hospital for aid and a checkup. One nurse was assigned. Blood tests and blood pressure were taken, a diazapam given and a visit from a social worker delivering a leaflet. The nurse went to find the appropriate doctor but could not find him/her. She did however manage to procure a prescription for diazapam. She mentioned that, information had been faxed to the ministry and that the person was not to drive for four days. Some time later she reappeared with vague comments about the dangers to one's liver and a bit later, that he was discharged. The individual then went to a pharmacy. The pharmacist could not make heads or tails of the prescription. She had to keep phoning the hospital as they would be soon closing. Finally a satisfactory instruction came through after several tries. The individual then went home, honoured the four day suspension during which he recovered, resolved that it was the end of any alcohol consumption, poured all down the drain and did not touch a drop from that point on. Recovered, he left town to visit and help out an ill friend for a couple of weeks, returned and spent time with family and remained true to the resolve to leave alcohol behind. Right after this he went down to empty the flyers out of his mailbox (flyers because all significant correspondence was carried out by computer and past experience was that issues of import were never in the box). The documentation was found concerning the license suspension. Shocked, he realized that he had been driving two days past the date of suspension. Now all this brings several issues to the fore:
- No doctor had attended him in hospital to discus, in detail, the test results and their implications.
- No brochure had been handed to him at triage outlining the policies and potential outcomes of this kind of visit.
- He was not presented with a copy of the information faxed to the ministry, the recommendations outlined within and the potential consequences.
- The notice of suspension was not hand delivered to ensure receipt of same. Though this is true usually only where criminal charges have been laid. Because
of the fact, that driving while under suspension can involve serious penalties, this type of thing should be hand delivered without exception.
- The questionnaire provided was addressed a full month after the hospital visit. The individual remained steadfast and had not touched a drop for a whole
month. Yet there was no provision for that in the questionnaire. Upon reviewing it I wrote down a couple of examples. Note the following question by way of
1. How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?
[*]Monthly or less (1)
[*]Two or four times a month (2)
[*]Two or three times a week (3)
[*]Four or more times a week (4)
2. How many drinks do you have on a typical day when you are drinking?
[*] 1-2 (0)
[*] 3-4 (1)
[*] 5-6 (2)
[*] 7-8 (3)
[*] 9 or more (4)
In this part of the questionnaire the first 4 questions have this type of wording. How does the individual who has reformed to the point of total abstention
over the last month answer this. The weakness of this kind of question is that it does not take this into consideration. It is akin to the old joke,"Answer
the following with only a yes or no answer: Have you stopped beating your wife yet?"
Kind of a damned if you do and damned if you don't thing. Just
to satisfy my own curiosity, I phoned the information number given, was put on hold for an hour (apparently after researching this, pretty much
the standard practice). The girl who answered suggested to answer "Never" for question 1. Now in light of the spirit of this questionnaire, I wonder
how such an answer would be received. Such a slipshod approach just boggles the mind with its negative approach. This and all individuals like him
would benefit from a more positive encouraging approach.
All this leads us to the question, How are the rights of the individual protected? Or is the individual completely at the mercy of medical caregivers not bound to follow correct procedures or the ministry to be responsible for its policies and procedures. I suppose all of this is a function of,.. there are no rights here as driving is a privilege..,except when it is convenient to employ the criminal code. Of course today end runs are possible using section one of the Charter. Kind of a catch 22 for everybody, it seems. It sure would be great to see more people being openly critical of such travesties of justice.