We have helped many nurses charged with DUI
We help many nurses charged with DUI under O.C.G.A. section 40-6-391. A question that is always asked is how a DUI arrest will affect a career as a nurse.
Your career is not doomed
Each case of a nurse charged with DUI is different, and the effects on a nursing license vary on a case-by-case basis. Your career is certainly not doomed if you are arrested. Just like any other profession, many nurses get DUIs. In fact, the stress and long hours can contribute to an environment where drunk driving may actually occur more frequently than in other professions.
The Georgia Board of Nursing
The Georgia Board of Nursing, which is part of the Georgia Secretary of State's office, takes an arrest very seriously. The Nursing Board is always looking for professionals who may have a habitual drug abuse or alcohol problem. The type of disciplinary action taken, if any, often depends on the severity of the offense.
Potential disciplinary action
Disciplinary action by the Nursing Board varies, and a first offense is, of course, considered less severe than multiple offenses or when someone is severely injured. It is within the Board's purview to order a license restriction, suspension, or probation. Multiple offenses could lead to a license revocation.
Generally speaking, a DUI received during the course of a nursing program is often more problematic than a DUI received once your clinical career has begun. A felony DUI can also lead to harsher consequences than a misdemeanor DUI.
"Do I even have to tell anyone?"
Let's face it, it's human nature to want to conceal embarrassing information. The Nursing Board, however, requires any felonies or misdemeanors regarding substance abuse to be reported. You must supply your fingerprints when your license is renewed. This allows the Board to be notified if a professional is convicted of a crime. Failure to properly report to the Board could result in stricter penalties. Disciplinary action is usually more favorable when you are forthcoming about your actions.
Ultimately, the Board of Nursing is primarily concerned that you can safely practice on a daily basis. Although they take these convictions seriously, previous criminal history, mitigating circumstances, and rehabilitation are also taken into account.
You need a Georgia DUI lawyer who has represented nurses
In the event of a DUI, possession, use, or distribution of a controlled substance, it is always a good idea to retain a DUI lawyer with experience handling cases for nurses. If you've put forth the hard work to receive a nursing license, you'll want to do everything you can to protect it.
Call us at 678-215-4106 immediately if you've been arrested.