Kathryn Kramer


Presented herein is an analysis of the equity of epilepsy-related driving restrictions and the role that the state of Ohio may assume in the restructuring of such laws. Part two of this paper discusses the medical aspects of seizures and epilepsy, including basic etiology, treatments, and prognoses. Part three of this paper examines the different types of disabilities and the stigma that impacts individuals with epilepsy. Part four reviews the history of licensing and the Ohio Revised Code provisions that govern driving, licensing, and restrictions imposed upon individuals who have experienced seizures. Part five examines the Ohio case law that imposes a negligence standard upon individuals driving with epilepsy, similar to that of other medical conditions. Part six identifies the problems of the existing statutory and case law. Specifically, this discussion focuses on the lack of scientific evidence to provide an appropriate basis of the law, the inaccuracies of the current law, and the harm imposed by contemporary licensing restrictions on individuals with epilepsy. Part seven suggests improvements to the current law that may better balance the competing interests of public safety and individual autonomy. Finally, part eight proffers a recommendation that the state of Ohio establish driving restrictions only for individuals with epilepsy who pose a significant risk of harm to other drivers. Alternatively, if broad driving restrictions for individuals with epilepsy are to be maintained in support of public safety, this paper presents a recommendation for improving the equity of the legislative intent by extending such restrictions to cover other high-risk drivers with similar medical conditions that are, at present, not similarly restricted.