How will Medical Professionals be Affected by a DUI Charge in Arizona?
Everybody will be affected by a DUI charge, regardless of age and occupation. Certain professionals, however, may experience much more serious consequences when they’re involved in a DUI accident. Many medical professionals worry that they will lose their license and ability to practice in the aftermath of driving under the influence. Is this really the case? So how will medical professionals be affected by a DUI charge?
Will Medical Licenses be Suspended because of DUI Charges?
While Arizona is one of the states that impose the harshest penalties for driving under the influence, loss of medical licenses is not common.
Licensed medical professionals like physicians and nurses will be required by law to report DUI charges to a medical board. Such a report will have to be filed within 10 days of being charged with DUI. Medical professionals will be asked to provide information about the charge itself, the police report and the blood alcohol content (BAC) test.
Usually, a misdemeanor stemming from a DUI charge will not lead to the loss of a medical license or the job of a medical professional. The review process mentioned above will be carried out for the purpose of identifying a potential substance abuse problem.
A medical professional that has a substance abuse issue could potentially jeopardize the lives of patients. In such instances, license revocation could occur. A first-time offender doesn’t usually face such problems but medical professionals who have committed multiple DUIs should be worried.
The same applies to driving under the influence charges that pertain to the use of illegal substances and drugs rather than alcohol. That’s a typical situation in which a medical professional could lose their license to practice in Arizona.
Other Possible Consequences
In essence, the Arizona Medical Board will conduct its own independent investigation into the DUI charges. A doctor or a nurse will have to report regardless of the outcome of the DUI charges. A conviction isn’t necessary for a board investigation to occur.
The risk of losing one’s medical license, however, isn’t the only negative consequence of driving under the influence.
Depending on the specifics of the case, the board may ask for therapy or abstinence when such measures are considered appropriate. In addition, the board has the right to ask for medical professionals to undergo drug and alcohol testing upon request in the future. In some instances when a medical professional is considered to have a substance abuse problem, they may be asked to complete a residential treatment program. While this is happening, practicing restrictions can be imposed.
Doctors who do not self-report a DUI conviction will be setting themselves up for additional problems. The board will be notified and it is best to undertake the necessary steps in advance.
DUI charges produce additional inconveniences for medical professionals. Let’s see how will medical professionals be affected by a DUI charge?
Many doctors and other medical professionals handle emergencies and they have to work odd hours. In such situations, finding transportation options other than the use of a personal vehicle can be a mission impossible.
DUI charges usually come with license suspension and potential vehicle impoundment. In such instances, medical professionals will have serious difficulties getting to work or visiting patients upon necessity.
Generally, first time DUI charges and a misdemeanor stemming from driving under the influence will not lead to serious problems. The medical board carries out a case by case review and it considers all factors like disciplinary history, whether anyone was harmed in the accident and if a medical professional has committed a similar offense in the past. Even if a conviction occurs after someone is charged with DUI, the board will still be interested in hearing their side of the story. Most often, rehabilitative actions will be imposed instead of considering possibilities for restricting professional activities or terminating the career of a medical professional.