When getting pulled over after having one too many drinks, the driver may go down a parade of horribles with how an arrest will impact their personal life and career. For doctors and medical professionals, a drunk driving arrest can have a significant effect on their job and livelihood, and any alcohol or drugged driving arrest should be handled very carefully.
Duty to Report a DUI for Doctors and Physician Assistants
Doctors and surgeons in California have a duty to report criminal convictions. Under California Business and Professions Code 802.1, “A physician and surgeon, osteopathic physician and surgeon, a doctor of podiatric medicine, and a physician assistant shall report either of the following to the entity that issued his or her license:
- The bringing of an indictment or information charging a felony against the licensee.
- The conviction of the licensee, including any verdict of guilty, or plea of guilty or no contest, of any felony or misdemeanor.”
A licensee has a duty to report the conviction or indictment within 30 days. Failure to make a report as required shall be a public offense punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.
In California, most 1st-time offenses for driving under the influence (DUI) are charged as a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor conviction for a DUI is a reportable offense and would have to be reported by a doctor to the medical board within 30 days of the conviction.
Felony DUI Indictment Reporting
In some cases, a DUI could be charged as a felony. The three primary ways that you can be charged with felony DUI include:
- Driver already has three (3) prior DUI convictions within the last 10 years;
- Driver is charged with a DUI and has a prior felony DUI; or
- Driver is involved in a DUI accident and someone was seriously injured or killed.
Under California Business and Professions Code, an indictment or information charging a felony DUI must be reported, even if the doctor was never convicted. This is one reason why a doctor facing a possible DUI conviction should contact an experienced lawyer who understands the consequences for doctor and surgeons, medical board disciplinary hearings, and California DUI law.
Nurses and Mandatory Reporting of a DUI
Nursing professionals are also required to report a DUI conviction to the California Board of Registered Nursing. Upon renewal of a registered nurse license, the board requires the licensee to indicate any conviction in any state or other country since their last renewal.
Help for Medical Professionals After an East Bay DUI Arrest
Individuals may be reluctant to seek help after a drunk driving arrest, thinking they should just deal with the consequences on their own. However, any criminal conviction can have a serious impact on a medical professional's career, including their job, license to practice, and future job prospects.
Lynn Gorelick has helped many East Bay doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals avoid a criminal conviction after a DUI arrest. Contact the local criminal defense lawyer who understands that you do not have to put your license at risk just because you were arrested.