Health Care

A dentist has a history of DUI arrests. His hair also was a problem, Florida says

Jasen Genninger’s mugshot from his January arrest on a DUI charge
Jasen Genninger’s mugshot from his January arrest on a DUI charge Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

A Florida dentist drew an Emergency Restriction Order on his license after a third DUI arrest led to the revelations of broader substance abuse problems, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The order prevents Hillsborough County dentist Jasen Genninger, 31, from practicing dentistry until a Professionals Resource Network-approved evaluator says otherwise. PRN monitors impaired medical professionals licensed by the Department of Health.

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After Genninger was diagnosed as having a problem with using amphetamine-type drugs, opioids, alcohol, marijuana, sedatives, the restriction order says, “Dr. Genninger does not possess the physical and mental ability to practice dentistry safely.”

It continued, “Dr. Genninger’s abuse of numerous illicit and controlled substances and alcohol, his multiple arrests for DUI, his attempts to hide his abuse of illicit substances, and his lack of honesty with regard to reporting his use of illicit controlled substances and alcohol, demonstrate his willingness to violate the laws, regulations and standards that govern the practice of dentistry in the State of Florida and demonstrate that he lacks the good judgment necessary to safely practice dentistry.”

Clearwater police arrested Genninger on a DUI charge on Dec. 26, 2017, after two phone calls reported a car sweeping back and forth across a road with a driver who appeared to be falling asleep. Tampa police cuffed Geninger Jan. 10 on a DUI charge after he rear-ended a car, then appeared to officers at the crash, “unsteady on his feet” with “body, leg and arm tremors” with “pin point pupils.”

Both times, Genninger “performed poorly,” the restriction order said, on the field sobriety tests and took the breath alcohol tests, but refused to urinate for a drug test.

He eventually pleaded no contest to a charge of careless driving in the Clearewater case and paid a $166 fine. The Tampa case is still in progress.

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These arrests prompted the Department of Health ordered his evaluation by Dr. Lawrence Wilson, a physician specializing in addiction. In May, Genninger admitted to Wilson that he had four drinks before his first DUI arrest, in 2007 as a 19-year-old.

He had his driver’s license suspended for blowing a .136 and .137 blood alcohol content and lost the public hearing appeal. But Orange County court documents show Geninger got his license back upon successfully arguing that the hearing officer made a procedural mistake in not subpoenaing witnesses.

While he admitted using marijuana two weeks before and one week after the Dec. 26 arrest, he said he hadn’t used it in the four months before the May 16 meeting with Wilson.

Other than Adderall during dental school exams, Percocet after a 2008 dental procedure and Vicodin for strep throat in 2012, the emergency order said, “Dr. Genninger denied use of any other illicit substances, abuse of any prescribed medication, or abuse of any non-prescribed mood-altering medications. He denied any prescriptions for psychotherapeutic medications.”

But when he submitted to testing, Genninger’s urine contained mitragynine, which the Department of Health explained is “an opioid receptor agonist with similar mood-altering affects to opioids. Mitragynine is used by individuals looking for an opioid-like high. Mitragynine can, and often is, used to mitigate the symptoms of opioid withdrawal.”

A PEth BloodSpot toxicology screen came back positive, “indicating prolonged alcohol consumption or binge drinking.”

And his hair gave up usage of amphetamine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone and diphenhydramine. Wilson figured over sedation via diphenhydramine was in play during Genninger’s December 2017 arrest and amphetamine intoxication was the active ingredient in the January arrest.

Wilson recommended after Genninger admits his substance abuse issue, he enter treatment.

As of July 26, the restriction order said, “Dr. Genninger has not complied with the recommendations of Dr. Wilson.”

On New Year's Eve, Michael Lester of Winter Haven, Florida called 911 to report that he was driving drunk. Lester was arrested for DUI, driving on the wrong side of the road, improper use of the center lane and for not wearing a seat belt.

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