A diabetes patient in Scotland is taking on the DVLA in a bid to get her driving ban overturned.
Maggie Smith, who has type 1 diabetes, had her driving licence taken off her last month after suffering severe episodes of hypoglycemia, a condition that occurs when blood glucose levels fall dangerously low.
She suffered two severe hypoglycemic attacks – hypos requiring the assistance of a third party – in her sleep last winter. Under DVLA rules, she was recently required to declare the attacks – several months after they occurred. But after she failed to do so, she was hit with a year-long driving ban.
The 43-year-old made an appeal to the DVLA, which included a letter of support from her expert consultant, who wrote that Maggie was an “extremely responsible individual when it comes to the management of type 1 diabetes” and checked her blood glucose levels before and during breaks in driving .
But the agency stood by their initial decision to revoke her licence for 12 months from the date of her first nocturnal hypo, which she said has already had a devastating impact on her life.
Maggie accused authorities of “complete discrimination” and has promised to challenge the “Draconian” ruling in the courts in an effort to win back her licence and set a landmark precedent for other diabetes sufferers.
However, she has been warned that if her court case is unsuccessful, she could be left owing the DVLA thousands of pounds in costs.
She said: “I believe it’s going to be the first case of its kind in Scotland, but I feel that I have to do it. I haven’t done anything wrong. I understand why these rules are in place, but I was sleeping in my bed when I had my hypos.”
Supporting her case, Diabetes UK Scotland said it in talks with its legal advisors to find out more about the Scottish appeals system.

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