Medical professionals, more than most, are aware of the toxic impacts alcohol has on the body. It is important for medical professionals to know that operating a vehicle impaired (OVI) or driving under the influence (DUI) can have toxic effects on their medical licenses. 

State Medical Board of Ohio Disciplinary Guidelines

The State Medical Board of Ohio has authority to approve new licenses and suspend or revoke existing licenses for many medical professionals in Ohio. 

The State Medical Board regulates the licenses of these professionals:

  • Doctor of Medicine (MD or OD)
  • Acupuncturist
  • Dietetics
  • Physician Assistants (PA)
  • Radiology Assistants
  • Anesthesiologist Assistants

The State Medical Board promulgates its own disciplinary guidelines.  The disciplinary guidelines lay out the circumstances under which a license may be suspended or revoked.  

The State Medical Board has authority only over licensed professionals and candidates for licensure who have filed an application. The State Medical Board conducts a detailed investigation upon notice that an applicant has a criminal history. 

No Automatically Disqualifying Offenses

According to the State Medical Board’s disciplinary guidelines, there are “no offenses that automatically disqualify a person from holding or receiving a license.” However, there are some offenses under which the State Medical Board may propose to deny or place restrictions upon a license. 

Guilty Pleas or Judicial Finding of Guilt

In many ways, a guilty plea is like a conviction, including for the purposes of criminal offenses for which a medical license may be denied or suspended. 

The Ohio State Medical Board may propose to suspend or restrict a license upon a plea of guilty to or a judicial finding of guilt of:

Drunk driving can be a misdemeanor or a felony in Ohio, depending on the circumstances. 

A first-time OVI charge in Ohio is a misdemeanor. 

An Ohio OVI can be a felony if:

  • It’s not your first DUI or you’ve been convicted of felony OVI before
  • You killed or injured someone else in an accident while OVI
  • You committed other crimes while OVI or a minor was in the car at the time

If you’re charged with a felony OVI, especially if it’s your second Ohio OVI, you should contact an experienced Ohio OVI defense lawyer.

Even though the State Medical Board licensure guidelines do not have automatically disqualifying criminal offenses, multiple OVIs may trigger suspension or revocation. If a license holder’s habitual or excessive use of alcohol or other substances impairs their ability to practice, their license may be suspended or revoked. 

Judicial Finding of Eligibility for Intervention in Lieu of Conviction

You may think that admission into a pre-trial intervention program means you’re not at risk of a suspended or restricted medical license. But, the State Medical Board may propose a restriction upon a judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction for: 

  • A felony 
  • A misdemeanor committed in the course of practice, or
  • A misdemeanor involving moral turpitude

To avoid unfavorable dispositions, medical professionals charged with OVI should engage an attorney who specializes in OVI defense. 


If any of the above situations occur and a medical license holder is the criminal defendant, the prosecuting attorney is required by law to report the offense to the Ohio State Medical Board. In addition, license holders are required to self-report potential violations of licensure rules. 

Dealing With OVI 

The consequences of OVI conviction are multiple. In addition to having your driver’s license suspended, you may have difficulty getting automobile insurance

It’s been said that prevention is the best medicine. Likewise, OVI prevention is the best defense. But whether you were stopped at a sobriety checkpoint or pulled over an experienced OVI attorney can help you avoid the most severe consequences.