A Colorado man who says he's legally blind is asking a Denver judge to reinstate benefits that were challenged after he obtained a driver's license last year.
Bobby Drumwright, a 46-year-old unemployed Laird, Colo., resident, had been receiving $229 a month in state aid to the blind for several years.Three eye examinations in 1988 and one in 1983 showed he had no sight in his left eye and 20/200 vision in his right eye. On June 17, 1988, Drumwright was declared irreversibly blind by a doctor.
"Miraculously, on June 30, 1988, 13 days later, Drumwright passed a motor vehicle eye test with 20/40 vision," assistant attorney general David Temple wrote in court documents.
Temple is representing the state Department of Social Services, which is asking District Judge Sandra Rothenberg to revoke Drumwright's benefits. The judge is expected to rule on the matter within weeks.
"The only logical conclusion here is that Drumwright is not legally blind," Temple said. "Passing the motor vehicle eye exam is circumstantial evidence that Drumwright lied" when he applied for social service benefits.
In early October, the Yuma County Department of Social Services cut off Drumwright's benefits after learning he passed the color-blindness test, read 12 road signs and a standard letter chart and was issued a restrictive license, allowing him to drive with a left rear view mirror on his vehicle.
On Oct. 25, administrative law Judge Thomas Moeller reversed Social Service's decision, saying Drumwright's eyesight had not changed. Drumwright will continue to receive his benefits until the dispute is resolved.
Moeller agreed with Dan Kruger, a social services rehabilitation counselor, that "it is very possible that you are considered to be legally blind and yet still can maintain your driving privileges in this state. I have worked with quite a few people in the past who are in that situation."