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At-Risk Driver Reporting for Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement and the Medically At-Risk Driver*: Who are At-Risk Drivers? and What is Law Enforcement’s role? - a short National Highway Transportation Safety Administration video. 

   *Note: Oregon law requires adaptive equipment only when the person’s ability to drive safely is directly affected by their impairment. 

In Oregon, an At-Risk Driver can be any person, aged 14 years or older, whose vision, cognitive, and/or functional impairment(s) affects their ability to drive safely.

The purpose of Oregon’s At-Risk Driver Program is to preserve the independence, dignity, and self-esteem that result from providing one's own mobility, so long as it is possible to do so without risk to oneself or to others (OAR 735-076-0000(2)). 

Law Enforcement professionals are the second largest reporting group to the At-Risk Program, after medical professionals. Over 35% of the total number of reports accepted annually come from Law Enforcement.

​Drivers you have contact with during a traffic stop or response to a crash whom you suspect, based on observations, may no longer be able to drive safely.

Drivers who/whose:
  • ​​​​Appear to have a medical condition or impairment – age, diagnosis, and/or general health alone is not enough - that caused or may have caused a crash or unsafe or dangerous driving behavior (OAR 735-076-0005(1)(d)(C)​), such as:
    • ​​​Restricted or otherwise impaired movement;
    • ​​Limited vision; 
    • Difficulty understanding or responding appropriately to questions or direction; and/or
    • Needing questions repeated (unrelated to primary language) or asking the same question repeatedly. 
      Note: License restrictions related to known impairment(s) include A, B, E, G, J, R, S, and U. 
      ​​​​​​J restrictions include adaptive device requirements. Drivers are required to carry the DMV Letter, notifying them of the particulars of their restriction, with them when driving.

  • ​​Unsafe or dangerous driving behavior suggests they may no longer be able to drive safely (OAR 735-076-0005(1)(d)(G)), especially when combined with the last two bullets above, such as:
    • ​Appearing similar to a DUII but there are no other common signs o​f DUII and/or tests negative; common with several chronic/progressive health conditions.
    • Driving erratically, due to confusion, or being lost, frustrated, and/or scared.
    • Failing to honor basic rules of the road or taking the wrong cues from other traffic; may also be confused, lost, frustrated or scared.

      ​​​​Unsafe or dangerous driving behavior (OAR 735-076-0002(11)) is when:
      • ​​​“…A driver is unable to perform basic driving tasks in a safe and responsible manner…” For instance:
        • ​​The driver is prevented from causing an accident by an evasive maneuver by another driver(s);
        • The driver impedes traffic or fails to yield the right of way, such as: driving too slowly; driving in more than one lane of traffic; turning from the wrong lane; or turning into the wrong lane; and
        • Failure to obey or difficulty obeying a traffic control device, such as: running a red light or stop sign; stopping beyond the designated stop line at a traffic light or stop sign; failing to stop for a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk; or driving the wrong way on a one-way street.

  • ​​​Complete a Driver Evaluation Request​ (DER).
    Or… Submit the Orego​n Police Traffic Crash Report to the same fax number as for the Driver Evaluation Request (instructions at the top of the form).

    If/when a Crash Report has been submitted to DMV’s Crash Reporting Unit, please complete a Driver Evaluation Request and indicate that in the narrative, in addition to the required content.

    ​Required content, as defined in OAR 735-076-0005, includes:

    • ​​​Reporter name; 
    • Reporter signature, or the officer’s employing law enforcement agency and DPSST#;
    • ​Driver name and date of birth or other information sufficient for DMV to identify the person being reported [such as the ODL #]; and
    • ​Sufficient information to give DMV reason to believe the person may no longer be able to drive safely, in particular:
      • ​A condition or impairment (physical or mental) that caused or may have caused either: a crash, or unsafe or dangerous driving behavior; or
      • Unsafe or dangerous driving behavior that is likely to recur; or 
      • Similar driving behavior has previously been reported.
        Note: For DMV to take action and be affirmed if/when there is a Hearing, the Request needs to include:
        • ​​​​​​​​A description including:
        • ​​Your observations, specifically; 
        • ​​​Why you believe a medical condition caused or contributed to the reason for your encounter. Describe related EMS contact and/or specific, relevant remarks where present (be sure to identify EMS staff by name when including them in your report/DER); and
        • ​​​How those observations differ from similar stops/responses with other drivers, which causes you to believe the driver may no longer be safe to drive.
      • ​​​In plain language for understanding by audiences who are not Law Enforcement professionals, including DMV staff and Administrative Law Judges (ALJs). If they aren’t able to understand how what is being reported meets criteria in law (including why they were reported compared with other law enforcement encounters), the report may be rejected, or a Suspension based on the report disaffirmed at hearing.
      • ​​Documentation directly related to the contact, including copies of citations, incident and/or crash reports. If you expect a delay for the documentation, submit the Request and indicate in your description that the documentation will follow. Be sure to reference a case number if one has already been assigned.
    • ​​​​​​​​The most common reason reports are rejected is missing or incomplete report content (OAR 735-076-0005), including:
      • ​​A signature, or law enforcement agency and DPSST#;
      • ​​Specific information in the narrative description, such as:
        • ​​​​Events, dates and places - submitting an incident or crash report/related documentation can help with this; and/or
        • What caused you to question the individual’s ability to drive safely when the contact or incident may have resulted from a possible medical condition or impairment. In particular, how it was different than a routine traffic stop of a similar nature.
      • Specific observations of unsafe or dangerous driving behavior must be included.​ Requests based on age, diagnosis, and/or general health alone will not be honored. 
    • ​​​​​​​​Be consistent in your description between what is reported on the Driver Evaluation Request and what is reported on the incident or crash report. Driver Behavior boxes that are checked but unsupported in the narrative, or what may seem like semantic differences between the reports can be (and have been) understood as substantial discrepancies, which can result (and have resulted) in:
      • ​​​​​The Request being rejected by DMV for failure to meet required criteria (OAR 735-076-0005); or 
      • ​​​DMV’s action being disaffirmed at Hearing due to the ALJ’s understanding and interpretation of the content of the Request, resulting in a potentially unsafe driver remaining on/returning to the road.
      • ​​​​Include a current phone number where *you* can be reached. If DMV has questions about the Request, we will reach out to you.  

  • ​​​​Submit the Driver Evaluation Request to DMV according to the instructions included on the form.​​

​​After a Driver Evaluation Request (or other form of report) is received:

  1. ​​​The Request/report is screened by Driver Specialty Services against required report content (OAR 735-076-0005). This can take 1-3 days to complete.

  2. The reporter is notified of acceptance or rejection by mail. This can take another 1-2 days to issue.
    • ​​When accepted:
      • ​​​An immediate suspension will be issued only when the report gives DMV reason to believe a person may endanger people or property if not immediately suspended, such as a recurring Loss of Consciousness or Control (i.e., driver identifies a known seizure disorder or diabetic condition) or a problem condition involving alcohol or drug abuse beyond a single DUII. An immediate suspension takes effect five days from the date of notice.
      • ​​​A non-immediate a suspension will be issued when the report gives DMV reason to believe the driver needs additional evaluation, including providing to DMV vision and/or medical information, and/or passing DMV’s vision, knowledge and skills tests. This suspension type takes effect anywhere from 60-90 days ​from the date of the notice depending on the specific reason(s) for the suspension. 
    • ​​​​​​​When rejected, the reason for the rejection is included in the letter to the reporter. The most common reason for rejection is failure to meet reporting requirements, such as: 
      • ​A missing signature, or law enforcement agency or DPSST#;
      • Missing information in the narrative description, such as:
        • ​Events, dates and places - submitting an incident or crash report/related documentation can help with this; and/or
        • Specific observations that caused you to question the individual’s ability to drive safely. 
      • ​The description only references age, diagnosis, and/or general health without specific observations of how that impaired their ability to drive safely.
      ​​​Note: A rejected report is not the end of the value for that report.  Rule gives DMV the authority to combine reports when either alone may be insufficient to meet reporting criteria but when combined are sufficient.  Rejected reports are kept for future reference and can make the difference in DMV’s ability to take action when a driver has been reported multiple times.
      ​​ ​
  3. Drivers are informed of their right to request a hearing in the Suspension Notice.​ The request and related documentation become hearing exhibits provided to the driver and the Office of Administrative Hearings for consideration by an ALJ when a hearing is requested. When a suspension is not immediate, it is stayed pending the outcome of the hearing.
    Note: Law enforcement officers are not called to testify at At-Risk hearings. ​​​​​

  • Submit an online inquiry​.​
  • Contact DMV’s At-Risk Program Coordinator: 503-945-5295.​