Here at Chelle Law we know nurses are an integral part of our world. They are people who care and act with wonderful intentions to help others. They handle complex issues and provide care to patients who, sometimes, aren’t always the easiest to deal with. But what happens when enjoying a drink or two ends up in a DUI? Is this the end of a great career? What will be the outcome of such a conviction for a nurse? Of course that depends on the Arizona Board of Nursing (AZBON).
Individuals who receive a DUI will not only risk their professional license, but incur the regular penalties for a DUI conviction. Discipline will be meted out under local and state laws. This means a you could face jail time, community service, fines, and possibly mandatory rehab treatment or AA meetings.
How quickly do you need to report a DUI?
All DUI’s must be reported to the Arizona Board of Nursing within ten days of being charged. Besides handling a possible conviction in a criminal court, nurses must also quickly notify the AZBON in writing. If you’re facing a DUI it is not a good idea to avoid reporting the violation. Should the Board find out by other means the discipline you would face would be more extensive. If you have been arrested, we recommend contacting an attorney immediately.
It’s important for any nurse to know, if you’re facing charges you must report them to the AZBON within ten working days. This includes misdemeanor and other criminal charges, offenses or citations. For drug and alcohol related offenses this includes driving under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs, the sale of or the use of drugs, distribution, growing or manufacturing of drugs and possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia.
Some cases do not need to be reported to the Board. This is because they are low risk and do no involve patient care. These cases include:
- Co-worker disputes or personality conflicts
- Rudeness to peers
- Labor/management disputes and more.
But of course, anything related to drug or alcohol charges would not come under this heading.
How Having A Lawyer Can Help
If you have a DUI don’t panic! We understand it may be scary not knowing what the effects of a DUI on your nursing license may be. Perhaps you think your license is facing suspension or revocation. Although Arizona has some of the harshest penalties in the U.S., it is possible to resolve the issues without losing your license. After a misdemeanor DUI charge or conviction, it is not necessary to lose your nursing license. The fact is, if the offense is a first offense, and you don’t suffer from substance abuse issues, the consequences won’t be as dire. However, if the violation is being prosecuted as a Felony Aggravated DUI it is possible a nursing license will be revoked in Arizona.
Having a lawyer can help you in self-reporting a DUI to the AZBON. Your attorney can assist with obtaining all reports from the police to the results of all blood and/or breath tests and them to the Board. Having an attorney will also help to represent you in front of the Arizona Board of Nursing should you need to go to a hearing. It is important you have an attorney on your side before speaking with an investigator of the AZBON. Your attorney can help you work with the Board to help lessen the possibility of losing your license and the disciplinary action you may face.