Can I Lose My Professional License If I Get Convicted of a DUI?

Can I Lose My Professional License If I Get Convicted of a DUI?
A police officer talking to a driver at a road block.

A conviction for driving under the influence can result in very serious penalties. They include high fines, jail time, and driver’s license suspension. However, even after you get out of jail and get your license back, your livelihood could be severely affected. People who work in certain jobs can lose their license to practice when they have a DUI on their record. 

That’s because DUIs aren’t just seen as a crime. They say something about whether the individual is trustworthy and responsible. There are several industries that take DUIs seriously. No employer wants to hear that their employee was convicted of a DUI. However, some professions have specific rules about what should happen in such a situation. In some cases, your license or job may be in jeopardy even if you don’t get convicted. You could be in trouble if you are a:

  • Doctor
  • Nurse
  • Dentist
  • Lawyer
  • Real estate agent
  • Teacher
  • Daycare worker

A mere DUI charge can be very damaging to your career if you’re in one of these professions.  Even if you beat a conviction, your job may still be in jeopardy. If you’re facing DUI charges, you need to hire a competent Atlanta DUI lawyer to represent you. At Howard & Arca, we can help you fight the DUI charge and protect your professional license. In this article, we’ll share some of the considerations if you work in the medical field. However, you should seek legal advice regardless of which profession you’re in.

How A DUI Can Affect Your Medical License in Georgia

It’s easy to see why the medical profession would take DUI’s so seriously. A doctor or nurse who has problems with alcohol, drugs or judgment would present a serious threat to patients. However, the Georgia Composite Medical Board and the Georgia Board of Nursing require professionals or their employers to report all arrests. The boards then decide what should happen next. The Medical Board is responsible for the licensing of a wide range of professionals. These include physicians, physician assistants, acupuncturists, prosthetists, and cosmetic laser practitioners.

Whether you hold a license, a certificate or permit to practice, you may lose it as a direct result of a DUI conviction. Even if you hold on to your license, your ability to practice may be restricted. In many instances, a single misdemeanor DUI conviction won’t cause you to lose your accreditation. However, if you are found guilty of a felony DUI, the threat is greater. If there is a belief that you can’t practice with the expected skill and safety because of drug or alcohol use, your license could also be in jeopardy.

The Medical Board has the power to investigate situations in which a licensed professional may be a felon. They can also look into instances where someone is unable to practice safely. The board may ask you to undergo a medical examination to determine if your substance use is of concern. A DUI on its own is not indicative of alcohol or drug dependence. It, therefore, shouldn’t be used to determine that you can’t practice with reasonable safety and skill. However, a felony DUI conviction may be enough for the board to take action against you.

How the Medical Board May Discipline You

The Medical Board has a variety of options available to it when it comes to sanctions. While it can revoke your license, permit or certificate, it may instead opt to:

  • Order probation for either a finite or indefinite period of time
  • Issue a public or private reprimand
  • Suspend your license, certificate or permit
  • Impose a fine of as much as $3,000
  • Require additional medical education
  • Require repayment of the cost of the investigation

Contact the Experienced Attorneys At Howard And Arca For A Consultation Today

If you’ve been accused of driving while under the influence and you require a professional license to practice, don’t delay in seeking legal advice. The Atlanta DUI attorneys at Howard and Arca will work on your behalf to secure the best possible outcome. We’ll do everything we can to help you beat the charges. Even if you plead guilty or get convicted, we’ll assist you in holding on to your license. When your livelihood is at stake, you need an experienced lawyer who will fight for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you.

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