A celebration at a bar with friends may sound like a great night out but it can quickly spiral into an extremely stressful and exhausting experience if you get slapped with a drunk driving arrest because you made a poor decision to get behind the wheel while under the influence. Driving while under the influence can lead to some serious repercussions such as fines, license suspensions and even jail time. For medical professionals, however, the repercussions could cost you your career.
Many health care professionals believe that a DUI will not affect their medical license because it relates to conduct outside of their professional practice, but the reality is that their licensing Board does care about what happens when you are a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional ‘off-duty.’
All health care professionals are required to report any drunk driving charge to their Board within ten (10) business days after the date of the charge. By being proactive, you can mitigate the collateral damage caused by a misdemeanor DUI conviction. The notification must be a written report and it must paint the incident and the medical professional’s background in the best possible light. Once the Board has received this written report, they are required to open an investigation which will include an in-person interview with a trained investigator for the Board’s investigation department.
Holding a health care license exposes you to an increased risk of negative collateral consequences in comparison to the other drivers on the road, however if you are a licensed medical professional and charged with a DUI, it is crucial to take the necessary steps to minimize any potential disciplinary action from the Board. Disciplinary sanctions may be imposed against you if you are convicted the penalties may fine, community service, probation or even a suspension or loss of your medical license.
If you are a medical professional charged with a DUI, it is essential that you hire an experienced attorney who can help you understand your case, your rights, and help you protect your future and your medical career.