UPDATE 6/21/2018: The DUI charge was dismissed after re-evaluation of evidence.
An Orlando VA Medical Center doctor was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of narcotics after he crashed a few miles away from the hospital Tuesday, records show.
- Orlando VA hospital doctor arrested on DUI charges
- Troopers say he was under the influence of narcotics before crash
- VA declined to say if he arrived or left work under the influence
In an arrest report, Florida Highway Patrol troopers said that 66-year-old Dr. Charles Young seemed “lethargic” and “dazed.”
He crashed his car into another vehicle before 9 a.m. at the corner of Narcoossee and Tyson roads in the Lake Nona area, shortly after a trooper said he spotted Young driving down Tavistock Lakes Boulevard, then hit a curb and keep driving.
The accident happened a day after Young’s birthday 3 miles away from the medical center, where the Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed that Young has worked as an ophthalmologist there for almost a decade.
According to the arrest report, the other driver involved in the collision said that, “[Young] just slammed into the back of me and I have two small children in the back seat,” adding, “He could’ve killed us.” The report said there were no injuries from the crash.
Young performed “poorly” on field sobriety tests, according to troopers, but was not drunk, passing a Breathalyzer test.
An FHP dashboard-camera video shows troopers administering the test to Young.
“I want you to follow it with your eyes only and do not move your head,” a trooper is heard saying.
Soon after, a trooper says, “Turn around. I’m going to place you under arrest.”
The FHP determined that the doctor was under the influence of a depressant and narcotic pain medication and charged him with DUI and damaging property.
The VA would not comment on whether Young reported to work under the influence or whether they made him leave after arriving.
It released a statement:
“We are aware of the arrest and are investigating this matter fully, to include determining if this was a medical, alcohol or substance abuse issue. The Orlando VA Medical Center takes very seriously any allegations of alcohol or substance abuse among its clinicians. Appropriate action — up to and including termination — will be pursued if warranted. Any physicians or health care providers charged with a legal infraction involving substance abuse immediately have their clinical privileges suspended until the matter is settled, and a clinical case review is completed.
Dr. Charles Young is an ophthalmologist with the Orlando VA Medical Center and he has been employed since March of 2008.”
A few hours after his arrest, Young bonded out of jail for $1,000. According to court records, he has an arraignment hearing on Jan. 10.