The state Department of Health has fined Dr. James G. Corasanti $10,000 and placed him on five years' probation for his conviction on a misdemeanor drunken driving charge in connection with the July 2011 hit-and-run accident that killed 18-year-old Alix Rice.
Corasanti, 56, of Getzville, agreed to a consent decree under which he may practice medicine only under the supervision of another licensed physician while he is on probation. He also must be monitored by a therapist and a sobriety monitor.
The order goes into effect Monday. He may appeal to lift the probation after three years.
The state Health Department's Board for Professional Medical Conduct also ordered Corasanti to immediately enroll in an ethics program, stay free of alcohol and mood-altering substances and remain active with substance abuse self-help groups.
He also must undergo random sobriety screenings at least six times a month for the coming year, perhaps longer. In addition, he is directed to go for psychiatric evaluation and therapy.
Corasanti was found guilty on the misdemeanor DWI count after a monthlong trial in May on charges related to the death of Rice, who was struck on Heim Road in Amherst while riding her longboard on the night of July 8, 2011. He registered a 0.10 percent blood-alcohol content five hours after the accident.
Many were upset, however, over his acquittal on five other charges, all felonies – manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, evidence tampering and leaving the scene of a fatal incident without reporting it, resulting in death.
Defense attorneys argued that Corasanti drove away because he was unaware that he had struck anyone.
In response to the verdict, State Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan, R-Elma, has introduced a bill in Albany that would eliminate that defense.
Corasanti could face up to a year in jail when Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio sentences him for the misdemeanor DWI conviction Aug. 16. He also is being sued in State Supreme Court by Rice's estate.