If you were arrested for or convicted of DUI in Virginia, you might wonder if it would jeopardize your nursing license. While you may not face the loss of your license if this is your first DUI, you could still be disciplined or face other problems. The best way to avoid these ramifications is to retain a knowledgeable DUI attorney to mount an aggressive defense strategy for your DUI case.
How a First DUI Can Affect Your Nursing License
Fortunately, a first-time conviction for DUI would likely not result in losing a nursing license in Virginia. However, the nursing board in our state can take action against a nurse if they find the nurse has used alcohol or drugs to the extent that it makes it unsafe for them to practice as a nurse. Disciplinary measures they could take include:
- Refuse to admit an applicant to an examination
- Refuse to issue a nurse a license, certificate, or registration
- Suspend a nurse’s license, certificate, registration, or licensure privilege for a set period of time
- Revoke a nurse’s license, certificate, registration, or licensure
- Censure a nurse
- Reprimand a nurse
- Place a nurse on probation for a specified period of time
A reprimand would be more likely in these situations, even if this were a first DUI conviction:
- They were using a patient’s medications and were arrested for driving while impaired by using drugs.
- They were arrested for DUI while driving to work.
- They did not disclose a prior DUI on their nursing license application.
How Subsequent DUI Convictions Can Affect a Nursing License
If a nurse is convicted of two or more DUIs for alcohol or drug impairments, this could show a pattern of substance abuse. It may result in the nursing board taking disciplinary actions or revoking their nursing license. Actions that would demonstrate a substance abuse problem and jeopardize their license may include:
- Smelling of alcohol or drugs at work.
- Drinking or using drugs while working or on a break.
- Charged with a drug possession crime.
- Charged with public intoxication.
- Have multiple absences due to their alcohol or drug abuse.
Are you a nurse or other healthcare provider facing DUI charges? Our experienced DUI attorneys are here to explain how your charges could affect your license. Order our free book, The Virginia DUI/DWI Survival Guide, and call our Manassas office at 888-DUI-LWYR or fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation today.