Physician Reporting of Impaired Drivers: A New Trend in State Law?

Kristen Snyder, Joseph D. Bloom

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The State of Oregon recently enacted legislation that increases physician responsibility for reporting medically at-risk drivers. The legislation comes at a time when the public is closely scrutinizing the question of the elderly and driving and the role of physicians in the reporting of potentially dangerous drivers. The evolution of Oregon's law is somewhat unique and offers an opportunity to examine what perhaps is to come in other states. The law broadened the role of the physician in assessment and reporting of impaired drivers. It also opened the door for new tort, that of "negligent failure to report," before input from physicians and other health care providers led to important revisions in the final statute. Physicians must look to current statutes to guide the legislative process in their own states, so that new law aimed at maintaining safe highways also preserves the physician-patient relationship and allows for a collaborative assessment of driving skill in the physician's office.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-79
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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