A San Diego neurosurgeon, who was arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in 2016, stands to lose his California doctor’s license.
He reportedly had been driving along Racho Santa Fe’s Via De La Villa on Feb. 20 of last year when his Tesla collided with a number of trees. A responding California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer noted that the man appeared to be visibly intoxicated at the time. He said that his speech was slurred, his eyes were bloodshot and that he couldn’t carry out some basic commands he was asked to complete.
He was eventually asked to complete at least four different field sobriety tests, all of which he reportedly failed. During his detention, the doctor is said to have told police that he was en route to work at Kaiser Permanente as the on-call doctor that morning. Soon thereafter, the man left his role there.
The doctor’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) came back as .26, three times California’s legal limit. Three months after his arrest, the neurosurgeon was convicted on DUI charges.
When it comes to state-licensed professionals, it’s a common practice for the state Attorney General’s office to be made aware of any convictions that may impact the state’s residents. In this case, the AG filed a “Matter of Accusation” with California’s Medical Board (CMB).
In that grievance, filed on Sept. 14, the AG’s notified the CMB that the doctor had been convicted of DUI last year. It also went on to describe how the doctor continues using his valid physician’s license to continue applying to other practices.
Whether the surgeon will lose his ability to practice medicine rests in the CMB’s hands. Now that the AG’s complaint has been filed, the doctor will be given 15 days to respond to it. The CMB will then have another 15 days to review the case and decide whether to hold a hearing regarding it.
Conduct any internet search and you’ll find numerous cases of doctors having their medical licenses suspended or revoked for drunk driving convictions. DUI is just one of the reasons the CMB may take away your ability to practice medicine though. Any proven instance of professional misconduct or a crime of moral turpitude can put your license at risk.
If you’ve been threatened with having your medical license suspended, then a Los Angeles administrative law attorney can provide guidance in your case.
Source: NBC 7 San Diego, “DUI conviction could cost San Diego surgeon his medical license,” Dave Summers, Sep. 25, 2017