As a college graduate now pursuing a PharmD degree in California, your life likely revolves around your classes and your studies. You probably find very little time to devote to social occasions with your friends and family. What few times you treat yourself to a night out, you may have the tendency to overindulge in alcohol since you have so few occasions to kick back and relax. Nevertheless, before making the decision to drink and drive, consider the fact that a DUI conviction could preclude your possibility of getting the pharmacy license that you have worked so hard to obtain.

Be aware that when it comes time to apply for your license, you must report any and all misdemeanor and felony convictions you received, regardless of how long ago you received them. The only exception is any juvenile court convictions you received.

DUI conviction disclosure

Although the California State Board of Pharmacy will not pre-screen your application to determine whether or not your DUI conviction disqualifies you for licensure, it evaluates each such conviction as part of its application process. This means the Board will investigate any and all convictions you received.

While your application must disclose all convictions related to alcohol and/or controlled substances, you need not disclose routine traffic violations. Should you fail to disclose your DUI conviction, the Board likely will deny you a license based on the fact that you provided false information on your application.

Unacceptable excuses

Bear in mind that if you answer “no” to the application question about convictions, the Board considers all of the following as invalid excuses for failing to disclose your DUI conviction:

  • My school advised me that I did not need to disclose it.
  • My conviction was dismissed or expunged.
  • My conviction happened more than __ years ago.
  • My conviction was not for a felony.
  • I did not properly understand the question.

If you receive a DUI conviction, you should avail yourself of the online information the Board provides regarding pharmacy licensure well before you apply for your license. Considering that you must supply rather extensive supporting documentation for each conviction you receive, DUI or otherwise, you likely will need a fair amount of time to obtain this documentation in the format the Board requires.