DUI and a Nursing License in California
If you have had a DUI and hold a license from the California Board of Nursing, such as a nursing license, or an RN certification, then you have special considerations in how your DUI is handled. You also have special reporting requirements that you agreed to when you agreed to be licensed.
Of course, as any of the most highly rated DUI attorneys can tell you, it is best to closely analyze the case to look for ALL DUI defenses, whether factual or legal or otherwise. Nurses are required to report arrests, charges, and the contents of arrest reports, and keep the board updated on the disposition of their cases.
You can ignore the nursing board, only at your own peril. Failure to report being arrested, or the filing of charges, or sharing the police reports, or the disposition can be separately considered a failure of your obligation to cooperate.
The California Board of Registered Nursing seems to be very aware of what is going on with their members; even more so than physicians.
An attorney I am familiar with used to sit on the CA Board of Nursing “Diversion Evaluation Committee”. This is the group of regulatory enforcement folks who determine the licensure outcome for RN’s with drug and alcohol issues.
According to him, one thing that helps substantially is if the nursing license holder is proactive, and self-reports. It’s likely that the nursing board will probably eventually find out anyway and it indicates the psychological changes characteristic of the recovery and a mental process of taking care of problems before being ordered to do so, that will eventually underpin the decision (or not) which will ultimately affect the RN license.
The passage of time – in itself – without reporting anything can indicate to the Board that someone is trying to “fly below radar”, which is frowned upon.
If you have questions about a nursing license and how a DUI can affect it, please contact our firm at 877-568-2977.