I’m a Pharmacy Tech and I got a DUI

>Arizona pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are licensed and regulated by the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy. Since pharmacies are filled with controlled substances, the Board takes drug and alcohol charges against its licensees very seriously. If you are a pharmacy tech and you are charged with a DUI, it could significantly impact your career.

Do I Have to Tell the Board if I’m Arrested for DUI?

Yes. You are required to report any arrests for DUI to the Board in writing within 10 working days of being charged.

What Other Crimes do I Have to Disclose?

You must disclose being charged with any felony or any misdemeanors that may affect patient safety. You must also disclose being charged with violating any city, town, or municipal rule that involves alcohol or any type of drug. This includes charges for minor in possession, public intoxication, and having an open container in a vehicle.

What If I’m Not Convicted?

The Board will still conduct an investigation. Being found “not guilty” of the charges will be evidence that you have not committed misconduct.  Being found “guilty” will be evidence that you engaged in unprofessional conduct. Pleading “no contest” will have the same effect as being found “guilty” of the charges. You can face disciplinary action even if you are not convicted of the charges if the Board finds that you were unprofessional, incompetent, or put the public’s safety at risk.

What Disciplinary Action Could I Face?

The Board will have a hearing to determine if you’ve engaged in unprofessional conduct, you’re mentally or physically unable to safely perform your job, or you’re professionally incompetent. Disciplinary action could result in any of the following:

  • A civil fine up to $1,000,
  • A letter of reprimand,
  • A decree of censure,
  • Probation,
  • License suspension, or
  • Revocation of your license.

You may also have to pay for the costs of the hearing.

Having an alcohol or drug addiction is also grounds for disciplinary action. The Board may require you to submit to a mental or medical evaluation and bodily fluid testing. The Board may require you to attend substance abuse treatment, at your expense.

Could I Be Fired?

Yes. Your employer could fire you for unprofessional conduct. If you are fired for unprofessional conduct or being professionally incompetent, your employer must report it to the Board. Your employer must also report you if you resign to avoid being fired.

What If I Suspect another Pharmacist or Pharmacy Tech is Professionally Incompetent or has Engaged in Unprofessional Conduct?

You are required to report the person to the Board in writing. If you don’t report it, you could face disciplinary action yourself.

Can I Still Drive to Work with a Suspended Driver’s License?

When you get a DUI, your driver’s license will be suspended for ninety days. You may not legally perform any job functions that involve driving while your license is suspended. After the first thirty days of your suspension, you may apply for a restricted driving permit to restore some of your driving privileges.

You will be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for at least six months after the reinstatement of your driving privileges. If you are caught driving a vehicle without such a device, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for an additional year.

If you have been arrested for DUI, contact an attorney for DUI at Oracle Law Group Office P.C. for assistance with your DUI case.

Photo credit: Holly Ford Brown from Flickr