Drunk and drilling
It is not unusual for drivers to be arrested for drunk driving, even if they are not driving their car, or arrested for riding a lawnmower under the influence of alcohol, what is less common is what happened Monday to a New York Dentist.
CBS New York reports that a dentist in the state of Long Island was arrested Monday after he consumed an excessive amount of alcohol and then performed a complicated dental procedure on a patient, which include drilling. According to reports, the patient noticed the smell of alcohol during the procedure and called the police who later came and arrested the dentist.
Police spokesperson, Kerry Pecorino, told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs yesterday that, “Suffolk County police arrested a dentist who was under the influence of alcohol while he conducted a dental procedure on a patient yesterday afternoon.”
The dentist has been identified as Dr. Garelick and his office is located on Wellwood Avenue. Other workers in the office refused to comment on the arrest stating that they were not sure what was going on with the case. Employees at the dental office claim they have never seen any similar actions in the past and that going to the dentist should be a safe, pleasant experience for patients.
Dr. Garelick has apparently admitted that he did something, “incredibly stupid.” Although the patient escaped without injury and Randy Zelin, Garelick’s attorney has stated, “There can be a whole host of reasons why someone may not be acting in the manner you would expect them to.” Whether this is a future defense strategy or not is not clear.
The dentist lives in Melville with his two children and his wife and has a clean medical record. His wife did not comment at court, and by all reports the doctor is considered a respected member of the community. Some claim the charges are outrageous; while others claim that he should be treated like any other drunken driver who puts the lives of others at risk or risks injuring another individual.
Dr. Garelick has been charged with reckless endangerment in the second-degree. He was released on bail on Tuesday, but if he is found guilty he could face the loss of his medical license, fines and censure.
Drinking on the job is not uncommon
Drinking on the job is not a new problem for companies; in fact, many businesses have policies, union contracts or relevant legislation which deals with this very issue. Those involved in the transportation industry, for example, must follow the Department of Transportation’s policy for drug and alcohol testing. Many companies such as an airline or a trucking company may have a zero tolerance policy for alcohol on the job because the risk of intoxication is so great. Experts recommend that if someone does have a problem you should review the protocols for when an employee should be tested and what standards exist for establishing reasonable suspicion of alcohol use.
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