Legal Question in Traffic Law in Georgia


Over a month ago I hospitalized and while there I had a seizure. This was the first and olny seizure I have ever had and am doing find now. My doctor told me Georgia has a law that restricts a person who has had a seizure from driving for six full months. I cannot find anything out about this law and am questioning if this is indeed a law and if so what exactly does it state.

Asked on 11/08/05, 12:36 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Billy Tomlinson Tomlinson & Associates, LLC

Re: seizure

The code section governing this area of law is O.C.G.A. 40-5-35. The important points that I can not determine from your question are:

1. Did your doctor report this to the driver's license advisory board?

2. Was the seizure due to epilepsy?

3. Have you received anything in writing notifying you of a suspension?

You doctor is NOT required to report it under this code section. There may be some other requirements that bind him to reporting. If you receive notice of suspension it appears that you would have 15 days to request a full hearing on the matter.

The notice of any suspension will be mailed to the address listed on your driver's lic. Below please find applicable portions of the text of the code section:

Title 40, Chapter 5, Section 35 (40-5-35)

(a) The Driver License Advisory Board appointed by the department shall define disorders characterized by lapses of consciousness or other mental or physical disabilities affecting the ability of a person to drive safely for the purpose of the reports required by this Code section, and the commissioner may use these definitions to promulgate regulations making such disorders and disabilities disqualifications, under certain conditions, for obtaining or keeping a driver's license for any class or classes of vehicles; provided, however, that a person shall not be disqualified from obtaining a noncommercial Class C driver's license for having had an episode of lapsed or altered consciousness due to epilepsy unless such an episode occurred within the immediately preceding six-month period.

(f) Whenever the department shall determine that a person is unqualified to be licensed, the department shall inform such person in writing and give him an opportunity to request a hearing, in writing, within 15 days. If no hearing is requested within the 15 day period as specified in this subsection, the right to this hearing shall be waived and the license of the person shall be revoked. The person may request an opinion of the Driver License Advisory Board as provided in subsection (c) of Code Section 40-5-34. The department may not grant any exceptions to any regulations issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section. The scope of the hearing shall determine, upon evidence and testimony submitted, if the driver is competent to drive a motor vehicle as defined in this title. No driving privileges shall be revoked unless the department shows that the driver had disorders characterized by lapses of consciousness or other mental or physical disabilities affecting his ability to drive safely. The hearing shall be informal and an appeal shall be as provided for in Code Section 40-5-66.

I hope this helps some. This is not a question that I have ever run across.

The foregoing is general information only, not specific legal advice. No attorney/client relation has been created or should be implied.

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Answered on 11/08/05, 3:01 pm

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