Many consequences can come from an arrest for a DUI. For some, the biggest issue is the financial implications. For others, it’s the loss of their driving privileges that have a more significant impact. However, if you have a particular career, there may be an even more substantial consequence. You could lose your medical license. This instance makes this an even more dire circumstance.
Can You Lose Your Medical License for a DUI?
Yes, you may lose your medical license for a DUI. It has happened in the past and could happen again in the future. In 2012, a doctor licensed to practice in Rhode Island was arrested for driving drunk, possession of cocaine, and refusal to submit to a breath test. She had been found to be driving down a one way street against the proper flow of traffic by police.
A few days later, this Rhode Island physician agreed to give up her license and have an evaluation done for drugs and alcohol. She went to treatment for substance abuse right after signing this agreement. These charges were dismissed and expunged from her record at a later date. Thanks to these events, her license to practice medicine is under probation for five years.
Now imagine if this doctor hadn’t followed through with these actions. What if she didn’t enter treatment? What if she didn’t work through the criminal justice system to get the dismissal or expungement of the charges? There is an excellent chance that the agreement for her to voluntary give up her license would have resulted in the complete loss of her medical license.
What Medical Professions Does This Impact?
Those that can lose their medical license in case of a DUI conviction are more than just doctors. Nurses, dentists, specialists, surgeons, and others can potentially be impacted. It’s vital to get help to protect any medical license in this situation. There are things you can do to make it more possible to keep your license.
What Are Some Instances in Which You Could Lose Your Medical License?
Every situation is different. However, being found guilty of a DUI, felony or misdemeanor, can result in a suspension or loss of your medical license. This action shows the Department of Health’s Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline that a serious mistake was made on your part. While it may have been a one-off instance, such as celebrating when you’re not on call a significant life milestone, the board may view it as the potential emergence of a pattern of behavior that makes your patients unsafe.
What Are Some Instances in Which You Might Not?
Often, the decision to take a medical professional’s medical license away is one that goes beyond just getting a DUI conviction. They also look at the arrest, your personal life, your professional history, your reputation as a medical professional, and your past. Having a good reputation and few skeletons in your closet can be beneficial in this process. These factors can make the difference between completely losing your license and a suspension or other lesser disciplinary action. As with the example above, putting the work in may help you to keep your medical license. You have to be willing to show the courts and the Department of Health’s Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline that you have made changes.
What Should You Do If Arrested for a DUI?
As a medical professional, you’re held to a higher standard than many others. This standard is due to the power you have over the lives of others. One of the first things that you should do if there is an arrest is to protect yourself. Seeking an experienced legal professional right away may help you to mitigate some of the damage to your career. You will not want to wait while going through this process to get the proper representation. The earlier you engage these services, the better your chances of protecting your future.
Seeking Professional Help
Hand-wringing and wishing will not help you to keep your medical license in case of a DUI. It makes sense that seeking professional help with a DUI professional is the right path to take. As the stakes are higher with a medical license, experience matters. This experience may make a difference in whether you lose your medical license or not. In addition, it’s possible for you to get your licensure back even with a conviction depending on your circumstances and the situation. Getting legal representation from the beginning can assist with this process, as well.
If you are a medical professional and are worried about the potential of whether a DUI will cause you to lose your medical license, contact the Law Office of S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq. Our experienced staff can help you go over your case. The loss of your medical license is not a foregone conclusion and doesn’t have to be permanent.