As a nurse, doctor or other medical professional, you dedicate yourself to providing patients with the highest level of care possible. You are attentive, professional and careful in every aspect of your job. Like anybody else, though, you likely look forward to relaxing and loosening up a bit when you aren’t on the clock. You might go out, have a drink and enjoy the company of friends at a bar.
Unfortunately, these are often the events that precede driving under the influence. The stakes are high enough for civilians who are facing a DUI charge, and they can be even higher for medical professionals. There are a few things you should know about DUIs and your professional license.
Prior convictions may impact license
If you received a DUI years before you pursued a career in nursing, you likely would not anticipate that it could impact your aspirations. According to Nurse.com, at least one nurse was recently unable to take a mandatory test without first addressing a DUI she had received more than a decade ago. Regulations vary, but some medical professions do take action based on prior DUIs.
Licensing board notification
Some medical professionals get a DUI and hope to sweep it under the rug so it does not affect their license and career. In California, however, the Department of Justice will automatically notify the licensing board of your arrest. Rather than attempting to hide the incident from the board, you should consult with a legal professional to determine the best course of action.
Possible license suspension
There is a reason the licensing board receives notification of a DUI. An arrest or conviction may constitute a violation of the terms of your license. Even though it occurred while you were off the clock, it is still indicative of potentially dangerous behavior and is thus subject to fines and potential suspension of your license. In severe circumstances, you might even see your license revoked.