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Charge(s): Medical Driver's Licence Suspension for Substance Use Disorder
Location: Ontario
Our Client(s): Mr. R
Year: 2023
Lawyer/Paralegal: Jami Sanftleben
Jami Sanftleben - ParalegalLEARN MORE

Please Note: Past results not predictive of future results.

The Background

Mr. R had visited his doctor to discuss his plans to reduce and ultimately eliminate his use of alcohol. During this visit, a student doctor was present and administered a 15-item questionnaire. Subsequently, she left the room for 15 minutes and returned with the news that his driver’s licence was suspended due to a diagnosis of Substance Use Disorder for alcohol.

The Goals

Mr. R, a dedicated real estate agent, faced a challenging situation when his driver’s licence was suspended due to a diagnosis of Substance Use Disorder for alcohol following an encounter with a student doctor. Concerned about the impact on his livelihood, Mr. R sought legal assistance from Aitken Robertson to appeal the suspension and regain his driving privileges.

The Strategy

Upon taking on Mr. R’s case, Aitken Robertson formulated an initial strategy to demonstrate that Mr. R had the necessary supports in place to safely operate a vehicle. These supports included ongoing counseling, an AA sponsor, and enrollment in sports and social clubs. Additionally, they submitted evidence in the form of blood work to showcase the improvement in Mr. R’s health compared to the initial bloodwork taken by his doctor.

Mr. R also returned to his primary care physician, who submitted a new report affirming his clinical stability and expressing support for reinstating his driving privileges. However, the Registrar did not accept this recommendation, leading to the need for a hearing.

Adjusting the Strategy

During the hearing, Aitken Robertson refined their strategy. They argued that the recommendation to suspend Mr. R’s licence came from a student doctor who was not yet licensed to practice medicine in Ontario by the College of Physicians and Surgeons. As a result, they contended that the Tribunal should defer to the opinion of Mr. R’s primary practitioner, who stated that he no longer had the reported condition.

The Results

Tribunal Decision

The Licence Appeal Tribunal carefully considered the arguments presented by Aitken Robertson and ultimately accepted their position. The Tribunal recognized the importance of relying on the assessment and diagnosis of a licensed, experienced practitioner over that of a student doctor. In a remarkably quick turnaround time, the Tribunal rendered their decision in favour of reinstating Mr. R’s driver’s licence.


Mr. R, who depended on his driver’s licence to visit various properties as a real estate agent, was elated by the Tribunal’s decision to reinstate his driving privileges. This outcome not only preserved his livelihood but also demonstrated the significance of seeking legal assistance to protect one’s rights and interests.


The case of Mr. R serves as a compelling example of how skilled legal representation can make a difference in Licence Appeal Tribunal matters. By challenging the validity of the suspension based on the credentials of the medical professional involved, Aitken Robertson successfully secured the reinstatement of Mr. R’s driver’s licence, allowing him to continue his career without interruption.


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