Medical Examination Under Section 4 of the RTA

In the United Kingdom, it is not necessary to prove impairment, as Section 7(3)(c) of the RTA states that: "the suspected offence is one under Section 3A or 4 of this Act and the constable has been advised by a medical practitioner that the condition of the person required to provide the specimen might [author's emphasis] be due to some drug." It is for the court to decide whether the driver is unfit to drive on the evidence before it.

Whether the examination is carried out by a forensic physician in London or an emergency room physician in San Francisco, the aim of the examination is to exclude any medical condition other than alcohol or drugs as the cause of the driver's behavior. The differential diagnosis is wide and includes head injury, neurological problems (e.g., epilepsy, stroke, cerebral tumour, and multiple sclerosis), metabolic problems (e.g., hypoglycemia), hepatic or renal failure, and mental illness. The procedure should include introductory details, full medical history, and clinical examination. In Scotland, forensic physicians use form F97. Appendix 6 contains a form that has been found useful. Similar forms are not available in the United States, but there is nothing to prevent any emergency department in the United States from drafting and providing a similar document. Even if no special form is provided, most of the relevant material will have been (or at least should be) recorded in the emergency department record.

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