For a Nurse Practitioner arrested for a DUI, everything happens in threes. There are three moving parts to every DUI case for a nurse:
- The Criminal DUI
- The DMV and your Driver’s License
- And the Board of Registered Nursing with your NP license.
There are also three determining factors of the DUI that have the biggest impact on how the BRN will discipline your NP license:
- The number of DUIs
- If there was an accident
- And your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).
Make sure to download our DUI Ebook – it goes into great detail – but for now let’s focus on the three factors that impact your NP license, since I know that is your greatest concern.
IS THIS YOUR SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT DUI?
In virtually every NP with a DUI case we have handled, a second or subsequent DUI arrest and conviction will result in an eventual Accusation being filed against the NP license by the Board. However, if there is a chance that the second charge and conviction can be reduced to a ‘Wet and Reckless’ or if the first charge was a Wet and Reckless, we may have a little wiggle room and will have a much better chance of negotiating a ‘Letter of Public Reprimand’ rather than probation for our clients. Just know, if this is a second DUI for you, the likelihood of an Accusation being filed and formal discipline imposed is high. The good news is that we have never had a client lose their NP license or even had their license suspended for a second DUI, and I can essentially promise that you will not be the first.
WAS THERE AN ACCIDENT WITH THE DUI?
An accident coupled with a DUI arrest makes it pretty easy for the BRN to show that you were “using alcohol in a manner that was dangerous to yourself or others,” which is a violation of the Nurse Practice Act and cause for action in a formal Accusation being filed against your NP license. Even single vehicle accidents, like you hitting a parked car or a mailbox, is enough for the BRN to show you are a public risk. If the Board can easily establish a public threat, they are more likely to file an Accusation against your nurse practitioner license. However, just like with a second DUI, we have never had a nurse practitioner lose their NP license or have it suspended for an accident during a DUI. You are likely to have an Accusation filed, and be given a Letter of Public Reprimand or Probation, but you will not lose your license.
WAS THE BAC ABOVE .16% AT THE DUI?
If your DUI was a first offense and there were no accidents, then the biggest factor that will determine the BRN action will be your BAC level. There is a tipping point at .15%. Anything below a .15% and there is an excellent chance that our DUI attorneys will be able to negotiate a Wet and Reckless conviction, opposed to a DUI conviction. This is HUGE, because a Wet and Reckless properly disclosed to the BRN within the requisite timeframe has resulted in a Citation and Fine from the BRN and nothing more in 99.9% of cases. The .01% when an Accusation was filed, was because there was also an injury-inducing accident. Even a DUI conviction with a BAC below a .15% gives you a very high chance of the BRN issuing a Citation and Fine in lieu of an Accusation.
A BAC above a .16% means you were double the legal limit of .08% and so, just like with an accident, it makes it very easy for the BRN’s attorney to establish that you were “using alcohol in a manner that was dangerous to yourself or others.” The likelihood of the BRN filing an Accusation against your NP license increases exponentially for each .01% above a .16% and you are essentially guaranteed an Accusation for a BAC above a .18%.
We have been successful on 2 cases, negotiating a Citation and Fine for a client with a BAC of .17%, but to date, nothing higher. Once again, regardless of how high your BAC was… and I have seen them as high as .27%… we have not ever had a client have their NP license revoked or suspended for a DUI.
WHAT ABOUT THE DUI TRIFECTA OF ALL 3?
We have defended thousands of Nurse Practitioners with DUIs, at all 3 stages: the criminal level, the DMV level and most importantly the NP license level and we have NEVER HAD A CLIENT LOSE THEIR LICENSE OR HAVE IT SUSPENDED, even for a moment. And yes, we have had a case where our client had a trifecta: a second DUI, with a BAC over .18% and was involved in an accident.
HOW WE CAN HELP AN NP WITH A DUI
If you are a nurse practitioner and have been recently arrested for a DUI, please know that we can and will help you keep your NP license. Our criminal defense attorneys are absolutely unique in the legal field because they are equally experienced and successful NP license defense attorneys, as well. You get an attorney who defends you at the DUI level whose major concern and overall goal is to protect your license at the end of it all. I am proud to say that our team of attorneys has a 100% success rate in keeping our NP client’s licensed and able to continue with their nursing careers. If you are looking to save your NP license following a DUI, please give me a call or fill out the online submission form and I will be in touch.