What Happens to Healthcare Workers Convicted of DUI?
Worrying about your job in the aftermath of DUI is a legitimate concern. Most people are troubled by the prospect of losing their job. The situation is most troublesome when said individual is responsible for human life as a part of their everyday job. Healthcare workers convicted of DUI are thus likely to deal with serious consequences in the aftermath of DUI charges.
DUI Legal Requirements for Healthcare Workers
The term healthcare worker covers a wide range of occupations. Most people think about doctors and nurses. The following people, however, are also healthcare workers:
- Medical assistants
- Physical therapists
- Home health aides
- Laboratory technicians
- Emergency medical technicians and paramedics
- Sonographers and X-ray technicians
- Dental assistants
All of these individuals are legally obliged to report misdemeanor DUI arrests within 10 days of their occurrence. Even veterinary technicians in Arizona have to abide by this law.
The rule is valid regardless of the specifics of the arrest. A person that is not guilty of DUI but has been detained will need to follow the same procedure.
Medical License Revision
Arizona healthcare licensing boards will launch their own investigation in the aftermath of DUI charges. The board will need the evidence and the police report. A meeting with the defendant will also be scheduled for the purpose of looking into the DUI charges.
Some of the most important factors a licensing board is going to examine include the BAC test results, whether this is a first offense, if the DUI resulted in misdemeanor or felony charges, whether the respective medical professional has a history of substance abuse and what their past employment history has been.
Depending on the circumstances, a medical license may be revoked. Substance abuse evaluations could also be ordered. Such measures are not typical for first-time offenders who get a misdemeanor charge. Still, the professional consequences for healthcare workers convicted of DUI should not be underestimated.
The Most Important Question Licensing Boards Try to Answer
The aim of the licensing board investigation is to answer one very important question – does the respective healthcare professional pose a threat to the life and the wellbeing of patients.
The risk is highest in the case of medical workers that have substance abuse issues. If such issues could be established in the aftermath of DUI charges, the respective individual will probably lose their license to practice.
A license loss is almost certain in the case of multiple DUI convictions or an aggravated DUI.
Even if the license of a medical professional is not taken away, they may have to participate in an educational program focused on substance abuse and addiction. Such an educational course could potentially span three years. Participation in such a program enables a medical professional like a nurse to continue working without having to go through a formal investigation.
Several other sanctions may be possible. Formal probation, suspension or a Decree of Censure are all likely. In addition, professionals may find it impossible to apply for the renewal of their license upon its expiration.
Other Consequences to Keep in Mind
DUI charges will have various additional consequences. For a start, a person charged with DUI will have their license revoked. Meeting one’s professional responsibilities is going to become more difficult this way.
A lot of time will also be required to handle both the court processes and the board investigation that will occur in the aftermath of DUI.
Full cooperation with all entities is of utmost importance following DUI charges. Hiring an experienced DUI attorney is also essential. Anything that could be done to minimize the impact of the criminal charges is also going to have a beneficial effect on one’s ability to continue practicing as a healthcare professional.