Pharmacist DUI Charges in Los Angeles
In California, there are a number of professionals whose licenses may be jeopardized as the result of being convicted of a DUI offense. One class of professionals who can be affected by a DUI conviction is pharmacists. The state is concerned about the fitness of those who are responsible for filling prescriptions for controlled substances and convictions for DUI and similar offenses may provide grounds for discipline.Pharmacists Can Be Disciplined
The California Board of Pharmacy is responsible for licensing all pharmacists in the state. The Board is also responsible for imposing discipline when necessary. Under California Business and Professions Code Section 4300 BPC, pharmacists can be disciplined if convicted of certain criminal offenses.
Under the Business and Professions Code, conduct that can expose a pharmacist to discipline includes an action involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, fraud, deceit or corruption, regardless of whether or not the offense is a felony or a misdemeanor. A pharmacist can also be subject to discipline if he or she is caught using drugs or alcohol to the extent that he or she acts in a manner that is dangerous to oneself or to the general public. Discipline may also be appropriate where the licensee is convicted of more than one misdemeanor or any felony involving the use or consumption of a drug or alcoholic beverage or combination of drugs and alcohol.Board of Pharmacy Can Initiate a Formal Investigation
Upon being convicted of a DUI offense, the Board of Pharmacy can initiate a formal investigation into the licensee. The Board will look into the specific circumstances of the underlying offense in order to determine whether or not discipline is appropriate. The Board is allowed to take action once the formal period for appeal has lapsed. The Board can take action even if there has been a successful motion to expunge the conviction filed pursuant to California Penal Code Section 1203.4 PC.
The conviction must be substantially related to the licensee’s qualification, functions and professional duties before discipline can be imposed. The Board has considered certain DUI convictions as being substantially related to a pharmacist’s job functions and will impose discipline, including license suspension or revocation, where appropriate.
The Board will generally launch an investigation into pharmacists who are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Those who have prior DUI convictions will face extra scrutiny and can face enhanced disciplinary action. However even those with one DUI conviction can face discipline depending on the specific facts of the underlying offense. If the licensee is convicted of driving while under the influence of controlled prescription medications, the Board may be gravely concerned about the pharmacist’s ability to properly carry out his or her professional responsibilities and may be more willing to assess disciplinary action.Mandatory Alcohol Class and MADD Victim Impact Panel
In addition to whatever disciplinary action is imposed by the Board of Pharmacy, a pharmacist who has been convicted of DUI will also have to deal with the other numerous consequences that come with a DUI conviction. A pharmacist convicted of a DUI offense can have several conditions of probation imposed by the sentencing judge. The defendant may be sentenced to serve time in jail and may be required to complete a mandatory alcohol class. The class may be three, six or nine months long depending on the defendant’s blood alcohol level and any other specific circumstances of the offense.
In addition, the defendant may be required to attend a MADD Victim Impact Panel, partake in the Hospital and Morgue Program and complete required community service or community labor hours. The defendant would have to pay extensive court fines, fees and penalty assessments and would be responsible for paying restitution to any victim if there was a collision. The defendant would also face a suspension of his or her driving privileges and may have to have an Ignition Interlock Device (“IDD”) installed into his or her vehicle.
If you or a loved one work in the pharmacy field, it is critical that you consult with a Los Angeles DUI Attorney as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Lawyer Michael Kraut knows how to effectively defend professional clients who have been charged with DUI crimes.
For more information about Los Angeles DUI and pharmacists, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.