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Please help. What can I legally do to stop him driving?

(73 Posts)
BarbarianMum Sun 24-Apr-16 19:59:52

Really desperate for advice.

Last autumn my mother and I both contacted the DVLA regarding my father's driving. He's in his mid 80s and his driving skills had deteriorated noticeably to the point where we felt he wasn't safe behind the wheel. After conferring with his doctors this winter, the DVLA finally withdrew his license at the end of March. At this time he was also diagnosed as being in the early stages of Alzheimers disease - this explains quite a lot sad.

Despite having lost his license and therefore being uninsured he won't stop driving. Not far, but regular short journeys round town.

He's really not safe to be on the roads sad.

We have tried reasoning with him/begging/arguing with him. This just results in a massive loss of temper on his part - lots of ranting and raving. Sometimes he 'agrees' to stop - then a few days later he starts again.

We have threatening to go to the police. We have been down to the police station to report him. They say there is nothing they can do unless they catch him in the act - won't come and speak to him, won't act on our reports. angry They say that if we tell them when he's in the car and where he's going they might send out a car "if one is available". But we never known when he's going or where - he's got very secretive with us (obviously because he knows we'll try and stop him).

He is becoming increasingly aggressive when challenged (I think this is related to the Alzheimers) - and my mum's been worried on a couple of occasions that he's going to strike her (he has never done so but she's scared he might).

Sorry for the essay. My question is "what are we legally entitled to do to stop him driving? The police have suggested that we take away his keys and we've taken away the spare set but the others are always on him and it would require force to do this.

Can we sabotage the engine so the car won't move?

Can we take the car away and hide it? Would that be theft?

Any other ideas? I can't believe we have to wait until there is an accident sad

BarbarianMum Sun 24-Apr-16 20:01:23

Sorry. Final ida. Could we fit a clamp or immobilizer and refuse to remove it? It's his car.

CooeeOnlyMe Sun 24-Apr-16 20:03:10

Was about to suggest a steering wheel lock. I don't know whether it would be technically legal, as you haven't stolen the car it damaged it, he just wouldn't be able to drive it.

CooeeOnlyMe Sun 24-Apr-16 20:03:34

Or damaged

Berthatydfil Sun 24-Apr-16 20:03:41

How worrying I think you are right. Can your mother take the keys when he is in the bathroom or asleep?
Alternatively move the car somewhere he won't find it.

Jugglingballs65 Sun 24-Apr-16 20:04:55

Most relatives we deal with in yhese situations either immobilse the car, remove the keys or 'take it to the garage to be serviced'.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sun 24-Apr-16 20:05:53

Can you disconnect the battery? Or remove it if you think he wouldlook under the bonnet? Does your mother also drive the car?

GingerAndTheBiscuits Sun 24-Apr-16 20:06:25

Can you sell the car, or goes your mother use it?

sami2885 Sun 24-Apr-16 20:06:27

Disconnect the battery. X

sami2885 Sun 24-Apr-16 20:07:05

Sorry should we, X post grin

BarbarianMum Sun 24-Apr-16 20:10:04

He's still with it enough to go round to the garage and demand his car back. Disconnecting the battery is a no-go as he could probably reconnect it (or electrocute himself trying).

Can't sell the car without his agreement because he's the legal owner.

AveEldon Sun 24-Apr-16 20:13:06

steering wheel lock is probably your best option

bloodypassword Sun 24-Apr-16 20:13:57

Have you tried contacting the Alzheimer's Society for advice? I used to come up against this situation when I worked in an older people's mental health team. It can be a bloody nightmare.

Good luck OPthanks

SummerSazz Sun 24-Apr-16 20:14:20

Take the keys and say he's lost them?

Rubydoobiesmum Sun 24-Apr-16 20:14:48

Take the spark plugs out. Battery is easily reconnected anyway. No spark plugs, no igniting of the fuel.

SummerSazz Sun 24-Apr-16 20:15:11

Sorry just saw they are always on him - how in his sleep?

outymcoutymyself Sun 24-Apr-16 20:15:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RJnomore1 Sun 24-Apr-16 20:17:02

Take a wheel off.

Don't need a key unless he's got locking nuts on the wheel .

BarbarianMum Sun 24-Apr-16 20:17:26

<<Sorry just saw they are always on him - how in his sleep?>>

Because he quite often sleeps in his clothes. Rarely changes them or washes.

I really hate this fucking disease sad

outymcoutymyself Sun 24-Apr-16 20:17:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mineofuselessinformation Sun 24-Apr-16 20:20:14

Disable the car as pp have said. I'd suggest getting someone round while he's out, then ask them to remove the HT leads and the top of the distributor (if petrol). There's no way he could drive it, and he would have to go through considerable trouble to replace the missing parts.
When asked, tell him he can't drive ad infinitum.
Sorry you are going through this.

BarbarianMum Sun 24-Apr-16 20:22:01

Mum is planning to call the Alzheimers Society tomorrow, for advice about various things. Will add this to the list.

Will try a steering lock - plus a note from me so she doesn't get the blame.

I like the idea of moving the car - but if I do he'll report it stolen which I suppose it would be if I refuse to give it back. Wonder if the police would bother to turn out to arrest me? Joking aside, I really don't want a criminal record.

caroldecker Sun 24-Apr-16 20:24:23

If he reports it stolen, then the police will talk to him and you can expalin why you have moved it

MyLocal Sun 24-Apr-16 20:28:31

Sorry to hear this, we had similar with my Dad who is now 84 and diagnosed with Alzheimer's too. Fortunately for us, one day before he lost his licence he had a black out and decided he didn't want to drive anymore. Mum then removed, and hid, the keys. Part of his condition means he loses keys and glasses all the time so he isn't aware she has hidden them from him. From time to time he will ask where they are as he wants to go to B&Q and mum just reminds him he isn't allowed to drive. As a compromise she asks him to get car out of the garage and put it away when she needs it so he feels he can still physically drive. The car remains on their property all the time.

I think your mum is going to have to hide the keys and face the wrath. Anger is indeed a side effect of the condition as we are well aware. Big hugs X

evelynj Sun 24-Apr-16 20:34:27

When is his insurance up for renewal? The Alzheimer's society should be able to advise but if possible Id agree with moving the car or steering wheel lock if it's this bad.

You have my sympathies

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