Administrative Law Topics: Alcohol / Drugs

Professional license denials, suspension and revocations based on Alcohol and Drugs

Legislation Attacks Physicians Prescribing Pain Medications

Lately there has been a lot of noise in the news media about the Medical Board of California and question of whether doctors are over-prescribing pain medications.  As California administrative law attorneys representing doctors in accusation hearings, we are concerned when the public focus turns to blaming doctors and physician assistants for the lack of treatment and control of drug addiction, rather than looking to the source of the problem o

Medical Board Terminates Physician's Probation Early

The Medical Board of California granted our Petition for Penalty Relief after an administrative hearing.  Our client is a physician who accepted his original California Medical License with five years of probation because of a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol as a medical resident.  After two years of probation, we petitioned for early termination of the California medical license probation.  

RN Loses Single DUI Case Before Court of Appeal

We previously wrote about our victory appealing (by writ of administrative mandate) discipline against a registered nurse solely because of a single off-duty DUI conviction.  See RN With Single DUI Wins in Superior Court—Nursing Board Appeals.  In that case, the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) ordered the revocation of our client's RN license subject to a stay of the revocation and probation for three years with employment supervision requirements.

Doctor Discloses DUI -- No Action by Medical Board of California

Our client is a medical doctor who was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in California. California physicians are required to report misdemeanor criminal convictions within 30 days. (See Business and Professions Code section 802.1.)  We prepared a report letter disclosing the conviction and explaining the circumstances.  Fortunately, the doctor's DUI was a first time offense and his or her blood alcohol level was close to the legal limit.

Nurse With DUI Wins Public Reprimand After Administrative Hearing

Our client is a registered nurse who was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol. In 2010, the California Board of Registered Nursing filed an Accusation against the RN alleging that the DUI conviction was substantially related to the qualifications, functions and duties of a registered nurse, and that the DUI was unprofessional conduct.

Teacher with DUI: California Commission for Teacher Credentialing (CTC) Cannot Automatically Suspend or Revoke Credential

If a teacher has a DUI conviction, can the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) utilize a “per se” standard and conclude that the person is aromatically disqualified as a matter of law from teaching in California?  The answer is no.  In the case of Broney v. California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the court rejected use of a  “per se” rule. 

Superior Court Refuses to Enforce California Emergency Medical Services Authority’s (EMSA) Investigative Subpoena for Medical Records

Our client is an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) licensed by the California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA).  The EMSA subpoenaed our client’s medical records from a local hospital in response to allegations of illicit drug use by an anonymous source.  In order to protect our client’s right to privacy, we filed objections to the subpoena with the hospital and filed suit in the Bay Area to quash the subpoena.  In response to our lawsuit, the EMSA filed a separate action against the hospital to enforce the subpoena in Sacramento Superior Court. 

Nurse With One DUI--Court Overturns License Revocation by California Board of Registered Nursing

A California registered nurse (R.N.) was convicted of alcohol-related reckless driving after being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).  The conviction was a first-time offense, and there was no evidence of alcohol abuse or dependence.

Nevertheless, the Board of Registered Nursing demanded that the nurse submit to a psychological evaluation, physical evaluation, random urine tests, and substance abuse rehabilitation.  Since there was no evidence of any alcohol problem, we believed that the conditions demanded by the Board were unreasonable.  

Can the Medical Board of California deny a medical license because of one DUI conviction? One Superior Court said, "No."

A few years ago, the Medical Board of California denied the medical licenses of several medical residents based on the fact that they had been convicted of driving under the influence. I represented one of the medical residents, whose entire criminal record consisted of a single conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol. Prior to that time, the Medical Board had routinely granted medical licenses (physician and surgeon’s certificates) to applicants who had been convicted of a single DUI.