If you are a licensed professional in California, your behavior in the workplace reflects the quality of your work and can also have a significant impact on your reputation. It is also true that what you say or do when you are not at work might affect your career, especially if you are a nurse or a doctor. For instance, if you face arrest for suspected DUI, your license could be at risk.
Data shows that an estimated 2,800 physicians are under arrest for DUI every year. You could face arrest and never receive charges for a crime; however, that does not necessarily mean you don’t have to worry about your license to practice medicine in California, which could be at risk anyway, just because of your arrest.
A DUI can have administrative and legal implications
As an administrative precaution, the licensing board might decide to suspend your license while your DUI case is being adjudicated. Especially if you plan to fight the charges against you, it could take months or longer to fully process your case. Not seeing patients for all that time could take a serious toll on your finances.
California is known for having stringent laws against DUI. In many states, doctors or other licensed professionals must self-report if the police have taken them into custody on a DUI suspicion. Failing to do so is cause for disciplinary action.
First-time offenders often have substance abuse problems
If the police arrest you for DUI, you might have to undergo an evaluation to determine if you have a substance abuse problem. In fact, more than 45% of first-time offenders have had such problems.
If you incur a DUI conviction
Depending on the circumstances of your case, such as whether it is your first offense, what your BAC level was at the time of your arrest and more, the judge overseeing the case might issue a conviction. On the medical administrative side of things, a conviction might result in the permanent loss of your physician’s license.
Because so much is at stake for licensed professionals, if you are arrested and charged with DUI, you will want to learn as much as you can about state laws, as well as what to expect from the medical licensing board in California. By reaching out for legal support from the start, you have a better chance of achieving a positive outcome, especially regarding the ability to continue practicing medicine in this state.