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Could a DUI destroy your career as a pharmacist?

| Oct 29, 2021 | DUI |

The stress of the last couple of years on medical professionals of all kinds has been unbelievable, and pharmacists are no exception. When you do get a break, it’s only natural to want to kick back a little and relax — maybe with a glass of wine or two.

Just be careful that you do your drinking at home or arrange for a ride to avoid putting your pharmacy license at risk.

Why would a drunk driving conviction affect your pharmacy license?

If you committed a crime at work, you’d expect your license to be suspended or revoked — but why would your pharmacy license be in danger over something that happened off the clock?

Well, Section 4301 of the Business and Profession Code (BPC) says that the California State Board of Pharmacy has an obligation to discipline any pharmacist who commits “unprofessional conduct.” 

Furthermore, that conduct includes:

  • Convictions (more than one) for any misdemeanor or felony offense that involves the use of a dangerous drug or alcohol or a combo of the two
  • Convictions for offenses “substantially related to the qualifications, functions and duties of a licensee”

What makes an offense substantially related to a pharmacist’s profession? When it indicates that the pharmacist may be unable to perform their duties in a “manner consistent with the public health, safety or welfare.” 

In other words, a drunk driving conviction makes the Board question two things: Are you an alcoholic who can’t control your drinking, or are you a scofflaw who will take chances? The first may make them wonder if you might be drunk on the job, while the second may make them wonder if you’re a scofflaw and willing to break the rules if you think you won’t get caught. Neither are admirable traits in a pharmacist. 

If you’ve been charged with a drunk driving offense, don’t throw yourself at the mercy of the court — especially if you have a professional license to protect. Find out what potential defenses are available to your case.