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CA Department of Consumer Affairs and CA Licensing Board Drug and Alcohol Diversion Programs

by | Dec 31, 2015 | Administrative Law

Many of California’s professional licensing boards, especially those within the health care field (CA Medical Board, CA Dental Board, CA Board of Registered Nursing, CA Board of Occupational Therapy, CA Board of Physical Therapy, CA Board of Licensed Vocational Nursing, CA Board of Psychology, CA Board of Behavioral Sciences, CA Chiropractic Board, CA Osteopathic Medical Board, CA Board of Respiratory Care, etc…) have diversion programs for licensees suspected of drug or alcohol problems. (Note, these Board-driven diversion programs are separate and distinct from criminal diversion programs enumerated in CA Penal Code section 1000.)

A frequent scenario is that a licensee will suffer an arrest for an alcohol or drug-related offense. For example, they may be arrested for DUI (CA Vehicle Code section 23152), a wet reckless (CA Vehicle Code section 23103), drunk in public (Penal Code section 647(f)), or a drug or narcotic violation found in the CA Health & Safety Code. A result of such an arrest or subsequent conviction, a CA licensing Board, often under the auspices of the CA Department of Consumer Affairs located in Sacramento, CA, will contact the licensee by mail and apprise them of the opportunity to participate in the Board’s drug or alcohol diversion program. The diversion letter may promise the licensee that upon successful completion of the program, their license will be fully reinstated.

However, these CA professional licensing board diversion programs have strings attached. Specifically, most CA Boards require that participants, upon entering their diversion program, must forfeit or surrender their professional license, while they are in the program. Also, there is no guarantee as to when the CA Board will return that license; it could be months or longer! This means that a licensed CA nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, respiratory care therapist, etc… could be without a license and, hence, employment for many months while they are in the diversion program.

As such, if you are a CA licensed professional, and you receive a letter from your licensing board and/or the CA Department of Consumer Affairs offering you an opportunity to participate in their diversion program, it is highly recommended that you contact a CA professional license defense attorney like Jonathan Turner. Jonathan Turner, who has practiced administrative law in Sacramento, CA since 1998, represents professional licensees all over CA from Southern California (San Diego, Orange County, Riverside, Los Angeles, Long Beach) on up to Northern California (San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento) and beyond.

California Nursing and Medical License Defense attorney Jonathan Turner can provide you with quality, affordable legal representation if you are dealing with the potential discipline of your CA professional license, including if you receive a letter from your CA Board regarding participating in their diversion program.


If you received a denial of a professional license or any threat to your ability to continue practicing your profession, please contact attorney Jonathan Turner using this contact form or call (916) 471-6506 for a personal conversation.

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