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Optometrists DUI Charges in Los Angeles

  • May 25, 2017

    There are many types of professionals whose license may be affected if they are convicted of a DUI, which include optometrists. For an optometrist to practice in California, he or she must be licensed through the California Board of Optometry. If an optometrist has been convicted of a DUI, then the Board of Optometry has the authority to enforce discipline to licensees who face a criminal charge.

    According to the California Business and Professions Code Section 3110 BPC, certain actions could cause an optometrist to risk possible discipline from the California Board of Optometry. If an optometrist is convicted of an offense that is related to the capability and/or responsibilities of his or her professional duty that would make him or her dangerous to the public could face disciplinary action from the Board.

    The California Board of Optometry Investigation Process

    In some situations, a DUI conviction could be thought of as an offense that is directly related to the optometrist’s ability to practice. The California Board of Optometry can begin an investigation when an optometrist is arrested or convicted of a DUI. If the DUI is a misdemeanor, the Board will investigate factors such as an extremely high BAC, a traffic accident, narcotic use, or past DUI convictions. It is also important to remember that if an optometrist’s conviction is expunged, the Board can still enforce disciplinary action.

    DUI offenses are not taken lightly by the Board. Licensees who show a pattern of drug or alcohol use will be monitored closely by the Board. If the Board feels it is necessary, a practitioner’s optometry license may be revoked or suspended. Furthermore, individuals who are applying for a optometry license in California may have their license application denied if they have numerous DUI convictions. Individuals who are applying for their optometry license are subject to the same investigation process as licensed optometrists.

    What if a Licensed Optometrist is Convicted of a DUI?

    Even if the Board does not enforce disciplinary action, an optometrist will face criminal penalties. When an individual is arrested for a DUI, he or she will immediately have their license taken and will receive a driver’s license suspension notice. The driver’s license suspension will be effective 10 days after the arrest with the exception that the accused or his or her lawyer file a hearing to dispute the suspension. If it is a driver’s first DUI, the usual license suspension will last four months. The first 30 days are a “hard” suspension. During the first 30 days, the driver is not allowed to drive under any circumstances. After the 30 days, the individual may be eligible for a restricted driver’s license, which would only allow an individual to commute to work and alcohol education class. However, the suspension period will be one year if the driver refused to consent to a chemical test for his or her BAC. Furthermore, these individuals will not be able to apply for a restricted driver’s license.

    Any individuals who have been convicted of a DUI, which includes licensed optometrists, are required to adhere to all the terms of his or her sentence. These conditions could include jail time, drug and alcohol education classes, community service and labor, and restitution when an accident occurred.

    Furthermore, DUI defendants in Los Angeles will have to install and keep an Ignition Interlock Device in their automobiles as required by the DUI Pilot Program.

    Although any individual facing a DUI conviction should seek legal representation, it is crucial for professionals, such as optometrists, to contact a Los Angeles DUI attorney immediately. The best approach to building a strong defense is to obtain legal representation from a knowledgeable Los Angeles DUI lawyer.

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