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Case Law Update: Chiropractors, Commercial Driver Licenses

Published: Aug 23, 2019 by John Izzo


Chiropractor Michael T. Wilson was disciplined for advertising himself as a D.NMSc, DC. The law indicates that advertisements must clearly reveal he is a chiropractor. The Ohio State Chiropractic Board believed his use of the term was misleading, because D.NMSc is not a credential recognized by the chiropractic profession. Dr. Wilson appealed an order issued against him, which suspended him for 90 days and fined him $2,000.00.

D.NMSc means Doctor of NeuroMetabolic Sciences, a credential awarded by the International Association of NeuroMetabolic Professionals (IANMP). The IANMP is headquartered at Dr. Wilson’s practice location. Dr. Wilson was also the Executive Director of the IANMP.

The Franklin County Court of Common Pleas affirmed the Board’s Order. The Tenth District Court of Appeals agreed. The Appellate Court determined the Board did not violate Dr. Wilson’s right to free speech, as this was commercial speech, which is afforded less constitutional protection. The State is empowered to ban commercial speech that is false, deceptive, or misleading.The Appellate Court stated that the:

general public likely would be deceived by [Dr. Wilson’s] use of the designation of D.NMSc in his advertisements. A member of the public upon hearing or reading that [Dr. Wilson] holds a doctorate would assume that [he] has completed a standardized course of study to obtain the degree when in fact [he] created both the credential and the organization that bestowed the credential.

See Wilson v. Ohio State Chiropractic Board (10th Dist.), 2019-Ohio-3243.

Commercial Driver License

Stephen Lachowski was arrested for operating his personal vehicle under the influence in a private parking lot. The administrative license suspension/CDL disqualification form, completed by the officer, stated he failed the field sobriety tests and refused to submit to a chemical test. His driver license and commercial driver license were seized. Upon receipt of the form, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles recorded the administrative license suspension and began the disqualification process regarding his CDL.

The administrative license suspension was terminated as the criminal matter was dismissed; the prosecuting attorney did not believe the law applied because Lachowski was on private property at the time of his OVI arrest. The BMV continued with the CDL disqualification because Lachowski refused to submit to a chemical test.

Lachowski argued the disqualification did not apply to him because he was operating his personal vehicle on private property at the time of his OVI arrest, and that the statute only applied to individuals operating or driving a commercial motor vehicle.

The Eleventh District Court of Appeals agreed with Lachowski. A first refusal or failed chemical test requires a one year disqualification of a person’s CDL, regardless of the outcome of the criminal proceedings. However, the Appellate Court found the BMV expanded the application of the statue improperly. The statue does not apply to holders of CDL’s regardless of the vehicle he or she is operating. This interpretation is not supported by the statutory language. The Appellate Court determined the statute only applies when the holder of the CDL is driving a commercial vehicle, not their personal vehicle, at the time of the OVI arrest. See Lachowski v. Petit (11th Dist.), 2019-Ohio-3328.

If you have any questions about the Chiropractor Board or any licensure matter, you should consider contacting an attorney at Graff & McGovern. John Izzo of Graff & McGovern can be reached at (614) 228-5800, extension 5, or