If you are a physician in the state of California and you get a DUI, it may affect your medical license. Without question, a physician must report any conviction, guilty plea, or plea of no contest to any felony or misdemeanor charges to the California Medical Board. Doing so may not always trigger an investigation, and even if there is an investigation, the Medical Board will look further than just a person’s guilt or innocence. They tend to look at the circumstances surrounding the arrest and subsequent plea. A physician may be placed on probation and be required to undergo therapy as well as submit to alcohol and drug testing. That is exactly what happened to a physician in California as the Press-Telegram reports.
Dr. Scott Robert Gwaltney, a physician and surgeon practicing in the Emergency Department of Downey Kaiser Permanente, was placed on probation for two years.
The probation stems from two separate DUI arrests. One of those DUI arrests involved a hit-and-run.
The first arrest came on February 16, 2015, on suspicion of reckless driving and DUI. At the time, Gwaltney had a blood-alcohol content of .14%. At that time, he was placed on probation for three years and required to pay fines.
A little over a year later, on March 17, 2016, Gwaltney was arrested a second time. This time, he had a BAC of .24% and was suspected in a hit-and-run accident. In this incident, he was ordered to pay fines, perform community service, and was placed on probation for another five years.
Gwaltney has been in practice for 17 years and has been ordered by the California Medical Board not to practice in a solo practice. He also will have to be supervised as he works. He will also have to undergo therapy, submit to alcohol and drug testing, and take an ethics course.