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Apparently just discussing how much you drink with a doctor can get your driver’s licence suspended, and you can be at trouble and expense to get it back.
mare, jeather, Michel, and 2 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
That’s a problematic thing: on the one hand, it’s important that doctors are obliged to tell the SAAQ when people are not safe to drive (though alcoholics don’t necessarily drive when drunk; still, in general there are people who are no longer competent to drive — we don’t wait until they do something illegal to take their licenses away), but on the other it is important that people feel safe talking to their doctors about their health so they can get help.
I wonder if there is not something more to this story than people telling their doctor how much they drink and the doctor just immediately phoning the SAAQ
Better start reporting people who are at risk for cardiovascular disease in case they have a heart attack on the road. I think I just rolled my eyes so hard they got stuck.
The article did draw a parallel with people who begin having seizures and can’t drive till their doctor is confident the seizures are controlled. I think this is an area where we sort of have to rely on the judgement of the medical profession – also think of older folks who have driven for years but whose advancing age is putting their perceptions or reflexes in doubt. I have to hope a doctor will assess someone in their 80s with impending dementia as no longer able to drive, while not condemning everyone elderly. I have to hope a doctor will be able to judge whether someone’s drinking too much to be safe.
@Ian, if you have a cardiovascular disease, the SAAQ is made aware of it. In fact, when you renew your license, you need to indicate it. After that, they send you a nice letter asking you to provide a doctor’s letter saying that you’re okay to drive.
The doctor then charges you $50 for filling out that form. Hope your eyes are feeling better.
Things are getting creepier, btw. I took part in a study last month, can’t remember the latin term for it (something like geneticopharmacology), but they’re now researching why certain folks respond to certain medications, and other patients don’t. So far so good, but because they need to study your DNA, I was asked if it was okay for other organisations to know the results. This would include the government, insurance companies, etc. That shit is scary.
Or who had seizures from before they could drive — I believe it was 6 months without a seizure before you are given the okay, but it could have been 12. You can argue whether a $300 or $700 program is the best way to prove that you don’t have a problem with alcohol that will affect your driving, and I could be convinced there need to be other ways, but “Oh no! Doctors assess your health and if they feel you are not safe to drive because you [have dementia/have seizures/are addicted to drugs/etc], they tell the SAAQ and you can lose your license!” is fearmongering.
We don’t want to discourage people from seeking treatment, but I have the feeling that if the patient agreed they needed help and were seeking such help, their GP would be unlikely to call the SAAQ.
I don’t have seizures, never had them. But I took anti seizure medication 10 years ago for an off label side effect. Now the SAAQ threatens every two years to suspend my driver’s license, even though my doctor writes on the form he has to fil out I don’t take those meds anymore and that I never ever had seizures. But that flag is never taken off my file. Such a waste of his time and my money.
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