How can I stop my father driving?

Ra 20 august2014 asked...

How can I stop my father from driving under doctor's orders? My father lives in North Carolina and his license has been revoked, but he refuses to accept that he can't drive. He has early dementia, and even though the doctor tells him not to drive every time he sees her, he refuses to accept it. We have hidden one set of keys, can't find the other set, and I'm thinking of moving the car or disconnecting the battery. Are there other steps I should take? My sister and I have power of attorney, and she says we can possibly be held liable if he has an accident. Is this true?

Expert Answer

It sounds like you're doing your best in a very difficult situation.

Since your father refuses to listen to you, the DMV or his physician, you have no choice but to take away or disable his vehicle.

To answer your question about whether you and your sister could be held liable if your father has a car accident: this depends on the laws in the state where the accident occurs. In general, the answer is no: you and your sister are not liable, even if you have power of attorney.

There is one exception: An adult child could be held liable if the parent were driving the adult child's car, and if she loaned the car knowing  the parent had problems that made him a driving risk. To learn more, you should consult your state department of motor vehicles. 

In any case, it sounds like the situation is serious enough that you should do whatever you can to get your father off the road for the safety of everyone concerned.