Alcohol related convictions are among the most serious violations a medical professional can commit, because they call into question both the judgment of the licensee and the safety of patients, in the judgment of California state agencies such as the Medical Board of California, the Board of Registered Nursing, and the Board of Behavioral Sciences. Licensees who commit even one alcohol-related offense can expect a strong push from the agency for probation with terms designed to address substance abuse, such as mandatory testing, alcohol related education, and monitored therapy.

In certain cases, state agencies will try to revoke a license outright and be unwilling to settle, such as when they perceive a pattern of concerning behavior. Multiple DUI convictions will often lead to license revocation.

In 2021, we were privileged to represent an excellent AMFT licensee with the Board of Behavioral Sciences, who despite excellent work evaluations and a track record of candor and excellent performance at their workplace, had suffered two DUI convictions within the span of 18 months. The Board insisted on license revocation. Thanks to the client’s deep commitment to recovery, including AA meetings, voluntary workplace disclosure, and a willingness to accept probationary terms, we were able to convince an Administrative Law Judge to allow the client to continue practicing.

The Board fought this Proposed Decision and issued a non-adoption. However, we successfully reached an agreement with the Board even after the non-adoption to allow the client to practice. We later learned that the client had persevered and obtained a license as a full-fledged MFT.

We are honored to represent the hard-working medical professionals in California, including therapists and associates, even if they have made mistakes that raise concerns with a state agency. Working together to address those concerns, we were able to help this client achieve their professional goals, and we look forward to their continued success.