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How does a DUI affect licensed healthcare professionals?


Facing a driving under the influence (DUI) charge can have negative effects on just about anyone. You may lose your driver’s license and be forced to pay fines. You could even end up serving jail time. If you are a licensed medical professional, however, you may face additional penalties.

For licensed health professionals – such as, doctors, nurses or pharmacists – your career and reputation could be at risk. If handled properly and timely, however, it may be possible to minimize the negative effects of your DUI charge.

Potential penalties

Professional licensing boards and the Department of Health see licensed health professionals with a DUI as a public risk. If charged with a DUI, you could be facing serious fines and sanctions, including:

  • Revocation of your professional license
  • One-year suspension from your position
  • Probation placement – incurring all charges associated with probation monitoring
  • Public reprimand by the board
  • Attendance of board-ordered educational programs

Speak to an attorney

Immediately after an arrest has occurred, it is important to seek out an experienced criminal defense attorney. Do not make a statement to co-workers, law enforcement officers or any disciplinary board members before meeting with an attorney. By working with a defense attorney, you maximize your chances of avoiding a conviction and reducing your penalties.

Clearing your record

Regardless of whether your charges are dropped, you are acquitted or you are convicted, it’s important to understand that your DUI charge now forms a part of your permanent criminal record. Fortunately, in the state of California, you can apply to clear your record – a process known as expungement – as soon as you have completed your probation (or earlier, if you were not convicted).

Applying for expungement is always a beneficial process. It offers you a clean slate and prevents your charge or conviction from showing up in future background checks – which can benefit you in virtually every area of life.

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