When a nurse drinks and drives, one wonders, what happens when a nurse gets a DUI? A nurse is tasked with caring for the medically injured and is required to abide with the many laws governing the performance of nursing duties. When a nurse is convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), it usually shows a lapse of judgment and may raise doubt as to the ability of the nurse to abide with laws, including those that govern the medical profession.
Under New York Education Law § 6509(5)(a)(1), a nurse is guilty of professional misconduct if the nurse is convicted of committing an act constituting a crime under New York State law. Although a DUI charge is a misdemeanor under New York law, a misdemeanor is considered a crime. Thus, a nurse’s DUI conviction will be considered professional misconduct.
Office of Professional Discipline
In New York, most nursing license investigations are conducted by the Office of Professional Discipline. New York relies on nurses to self-report criminal convictions, at the most, every 3 years when the license is renewed. It’s always better to self-report, but don’t think you can get away with a criminal conviction without self-reporting. When you are convicted criminally, the Department of Probation notifies the Department of Education of the criminal conviction, who then investigates the matter further. When the OPD learns that you did not self-report a criminal conviction, this can be taken against you, and your penalty can be worse. Before self-reporting, contact nursing license defense lawyer so you can be ensured of good legal representation and can prepare a good defense during the licensing investigation.
Generally, when a nurse gets a DUI conviction for the first time, the nurse may be suspended with probation thereafter. However, a good nursing license defense lawyer may able to get you a censure, reprimand, or stayed suspension. Stayed suspension suspends the nurse’s license but still allows the nurse to practice, so long as the nurse follows certain requirements.
If the DUI conviction is aggravated, the misdemeanor is converted into a felony, and a longer period for suspension may be imposed. The Board of Regents will take all factors into consideration: the circumstances leading to the charge, whether it is an isolated incident, the amount of alcohol in your system, whether DUI charge is aggravated, and whether it is a first offense.
When you are a nurse who has just received a DUI charge, it is important to first get a good lawyer who can defend you from the DUI charge. There are many available defenses in a DUI charge, such as Miranda rights issues, failure to inform the accused about chemical test penalties, and lack of probable cause for the traffic stop. If you are not convicted of a DUI charge, there is no criminal conviction you need to report. If you have been convicted of a DUI charge, you need to consult with a nursing license defense lawyer who can help you get the lowest penalty possible, such as a censure or reprimand, regarding your nursing license. A lawyer may be expensive, but it could make a difference between not being able to practice your profession for a long time, as opposed to being able to continue practicing your profession and continuously having a source of income and livelihood. Should you need assistance, we at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. We have offices in New York, NY, Brooklyn, NY and Queens, NY. You can call us at 718-509-9774 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.