The Medical Board of California brought an accusation against our doctor client for a 0.11% blood alcohol level drunk driving conviction. The Medical Board cited the fact that the physician admitted to the police officer that he was on call in demanding harsh punishment. In settlement negotiations, the Board’s minimum offer was a five year probation that would have been devastating to the physician’s career.
At hearing the judge agreed with attorney Fred Ray that the facts did not warrant probation. The physician was driving home after having wine at a family gathering on a Saturday night, other physicians were available to take the hospital calls, and alcoholism and alcohol abuse were ruled out by an expert brought in by the firm. The judge agreed that probation was an unduly harsh and unnecessary punishment for the physician in light of all the evidence and argument at hearing. A panel of the Medical Board heard arguments after non-adoption of the hearing decision and agreed with our position, giving the physician only a public reprimand with no further penalties.