There are different types of DMV hearings. With a DUI arrest, you can have a “refusal” hearing or an “APS” hearing. But when a driver looks “not well” (such as should not be driving due to a medical condition, addiction, or age), police can refer the driver for a Physical or Mental reexamination, AKA, P & M hearing.
P & M hearing happens when a police officer (or a doctor) decides that a driver does not have the skills (such as an elderly or sick driver). Also, such a hearing can happen when a driver has no knowledge of traffic laws. Lastly, police can refer you to a P & M hearing when you are under the influence of drugs.
This last example is a very underhanded way to mess with a driver due to the fact that being under the influence of drugs can not be protected at the DMV. Being arrested for alcohol-related DUI will result in two separate procedures going against the driver. First, he will be sited to court when he (or his DUI Lawyer) will defend him in criminal prosecution. Second, he will be giving notice of license suspension in 30 days unless he requests a hearing in 10 days (the request for a hearing gives the driver an opportunity to defend the suspension at an APS hearing). When the driver refuses a test, then the procedure is still to (1) cite to court and (2) to refer for a “refusal” hearing. However, when the driver is under the influence of drugs, he can not be given a suspension because DMV suspension does not prohibit operation under narcotics. To address this, some officers will issue an “Immediate suspension” due to medical or physical condition. This is better for the driver than an APS suspension, however, it is a very creative way to cause a suspension when the reason for one is often non-existent. o
USUALLY USED FOR:
The P & M reexamination is usually used for elderly persons whose skills need to be retested (for example, they caused an accident). Or for a person who is epileptic and can have a seizure during driving. However, as you can see, it can be used against a person who is under the influence of drugs.
During the reexamination interview, the driver needs to produce a doctor’s report on a DMV form DS 326. (This form is available here). Also, the driver will be questions about drug and alcohol use and if it causes any problems for driving. Lastly, the driver can be also sent for a new written, vision, and driving test.
The DMV has authority under California Vehicle Code 13953 to immediately suspend the driver’s license, even before the driver had a chance to say anything in her defense.
It is always a good idea to have a lawyer for a P & M hearing. Even-though the police is rarely subpoenaed to the hearing, Los Angeles DUI Attorney can prepare you and present your testimony in a most favorable manner. If you are referred to a P and M hearing, please call us to help you present a successful defense to the DMV accusations.