An operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs charge (OUI) can come with serious consequences. When a police officer pulls over a driver for an OUI, the driver could face a night in jail, a fine and additional expenses to get their vehicle back. This can lead to long-term consequences as well, like increased insurance coverage. Those with a professional license, like physicians, can also find their license at risk.
Why would a drunk driving charge put a physician’s license at risk?
The state’s medical board grants the ability to practice medicine within that state. In Massachusetts, the Board of Registration in Medicine (the Board) oversees licensing and discipline for physicians who fail to meet the Commonwealth’s regulations and expectations for the profession.
In Massachusetts, a criminal conviction of any kind can serve as grounds for a complaint to the Board. This can lead to an investigation. Depending on the results of the investigation, the Board could impose penalties such as a fine, suspension or even revocation of the physician’s medical license.
How can doctors protect their medical license?
Those who believe the charges are in err are wise to fight back. This is not a ticket that you can simply pay off and forget. The consequences could impact your license and your ability to continue to practice medicine in Massachusetts.
Some potential options for a defense to the charges can include:
- Inaccurate Breathalyzer results. Breathalyzers are sensitive devices that can provide inaccurate results if not well maintained. There are also often specific directions that the officer must follow to use the device or else the results are incorrect. These are just two things to look into involving this specific part of the case.
- Poorly administered field sobriety test. It is also important to review the field sobriety test. If the officer failed to administer it properly, the results may be tossed out.
- Improper stop. Police must have a good reason to pull over a car. If they do not have probable cause for the stop in the first place, all evidence gathered after the stop may be inadmissible.
If successful, these defense strategies can result in a reduction or even dismissal of charges.