In Florida, dealing with the ramifications of being convicted for driving under the influence (DUI), it’s essential to grasp how it will affect your personal and professional life. The following details some of the consequences you could face.
Defining a DUI
To clarify what constitutes a DUI, the charge means that you were driving or physically controlling a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. State laws vary, but a DUI charge can typically apply regardless of whether you are under the influence of prescription or illegal drugs. It only matters whether your driving was impaired because of the drugs.
How is your nursing license affected?
After receiving a DUI, you may be concerned with tending to the criminal charges and their impact on your personal life. However, a DUI charge will likely also affect your nursing license. Your state’s nursing board will decide on any disciplinary actions. You may not have your license revoked if this is a first-time charge. However, the risk of license revocation increases dramatically with any subsequent convictions.
Some states have mandatory impaired nurse programs, which serve as a supportive measure to help nurses work through their substance abuse issues and other challenges. These programs aim to help nurses keep their licenses and remain active in their professions.
Should you tell the nursing board?
If you receive a DUI charge, it is understandable that you may not wish to report it to the nursing board for fear of losing employment or other consequences. However, if the board hears about your DUI from another party, such as law enforcement, they may assess a stricter penalty. As a matter of professional etiquette and showing that you are taking responsibility for your actions, it is best for you to report a DUI to the nursing board yourself.
Legal repercussions of a DUI
The consequences of a DUI can affect your personal life and, in some cases, prevent you from being able to work at your job. First-time DUIs may involve jail time, ranging from none to one year. You will likely also receive fines, a suspended driver’s license, an ignition interlock device, mandatory DUI school and community service. For subsequent DUIs, jail time is often mandatory, and the time increases with each conviction.
A DUI charge is emotionally daunting and can involve severe consequences. However, everyone makes mistakes, and keeping your nursing license depends more on how you choose to move forward.