Saturday, April 18, 2015

DUI arrest in Seattle and you're a Pharmacist....what happens next?

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Seattle or anywhere in Washington State and you're a Pharmacist then you could face the possibility of some serious job repercussions depending on the final outcome of your case.  It is best to contact a Seattle DUI Attorney immediately to determine what your next steps should be.  

RCW 18.130.180 lays out what conduct, acts, or conditions constitute unprofessional conduct for a license holder.  It discusses the commission of an act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, corruption, and the conviction of a gross misdemeanor or felony.  And yes a conviction for DUI is a gross misdemeanor and therefore one of the reportable offenses that would affect a Pharmacist.

However upon a closer look at the statutes involving these issues WAC 246-16-210 states a conviction means a court has decided a person is guilty of any gross misdemeanor or felony.  It includes guilty, no contest, and deferred or suspended sentences.  

Now generally when a driver gets arrested for a DUI and they contact my office for legal representation.  Typically the goal is to try and get the DUI reduced to a lesser charge.  Either reckless driving or negligent driving 1.  Both of these are lesser offenses than a DUI meaning they don't carry nearly the consequences a DUI does.  

However if a Pharmacist is involved then even a DUI amended to reckless driving may still cause problems, because a reckless driving is a gross misdemeanor.  Whereas a negligent driving 1 is called a simply misdemeanor, which is not mentioned in the statute concerning consequences for license holders.

So what happens if a Pharmacist gets convicted of a DUI or reckless driving.  Then you need to check out WAC 246.16.860 which determines the sanction.  For a conviction of a gross misdemeanor the minimum conditions may be some sort of reprimand, training, monitoring, probation, or supervision.  The maximum penalty could include oversight for 5 years involving the same sort of probation, training, supervision, etc.  

So the good news at least based on the current status of the law as of writing this blog is it looks like a first offense DUI or reckless driving conviction may not result in the suspension of a license.  Rather it may involve some sort of supervisory condition, although that is at the discretion of the Department of Health.  Obviously if an individual has multiple offenses or other charges then something more serious may apply and it would be important to seek counsel for an experienced Seattle DUI Attorney.

About the author:  Matthew Leyba is the owner of Leyba Defense PLLC.  A boutique DUI law firm located in Seattle, WA.  He has been repeatedly recognized as one of the best DUI Attorneys in Seattle by the Seattle Met Magazine's annual "Best of" edition.  He is also the highest rated DUI Attorney according to, a lawyer rating service. 

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