How Does a Second DUI Affect My RN License?

Any DUI is considered a violation of the Nurse Practice Act because it is using alcohol in a manner that is dangerous to one’s self or others. A first time DUI misdemeanor conviction can sometimes result in a citation and fine from the Board of Registered Nursing, especially if the blood alcohol level or BAC is relatively low and there are no accidents or other issues. A first DUI can also result in a formal Accusation from the BRN against the RN’s license and an Accusation always calls for revocation or suspension of the nurse’s license.

Our team of license defense panel attorneys have been 98% successful in keeping our RN client’s licenses from being revoked or suspended for a DUI and are very often able to negotiate what is known as a Rule-Out Provision, where we rule out the last few probation requirements. This is accomplished by showing the BRN that the nurse is not a risk for a reoccurrence and that the DUI was essentially a one-time mistake. As you can see, this is much more difficult to accomplish for a second DUI.

The process with a second DUI arrest will play out identically to the first DUI.

    1. The DUI must be properly disclosed to the BRN within 30 days of the CONVICTION– not the arrest, the CONVICTION. We recommend getting assistance with this first step so that you don’t disclose too much and give yourself the best chance of success once the Accusation is eventually filed.
    2. The BRN will review the disclosure and assign it to the Enforcement Division.
    3. The Enforcement Division will determine whether to issue a citation and fine or refer it to the Attorney General to file the Accusation.
    4. For a second DUI, it will always be referred to the AG for an Accusation.
    5. You will want to hire a license defense attorney to represent you with the Accusation, as the consequence is revocation of your RN license.
    6. The Accusation can be handled by reaching a Stipulated Settlement or going to a Hearing.

This is where the similarities between the first DUI and the second DUI end. So, you may ask, how does a second DUI affect my RN license?

The way the BRN will look at a second DUI is that you have an alcohol dependency problem, so your attorney will need to show the BRN that you are taking steps to get this under control. We will give you some suggestions to help you “prove” this. If done properly, an experienced license defense attorney can still save the RN license from being revoked or suspended and likely can negotiate a three-year probation term. To date, our panel attorneys have not had a client’s RN license revoked or suspended for a second misdemeanor DUI conviction and have successfully kept probation at a three, rather than five-year term.

If you are a California Registered Nurse and have recently been arrested for a second DUI, your best chance or mitigating damage to your career is to hire a team to handle BOTH the DUI at the criminal level and handle the Disclosure of the DUI to the BRN and the subsequent Accusation negotiations. RN Guardian’s panel attorneys have 2 dedicated criminal and license defense attorneys available to help you with this entire process. We can represent you during the DUI and will advise you of steps you can take from the very beginning that will help you keep your RN license and reduce the amount of time you will be on probation.

It is important to know that many California nurses have lost their licenses for a second DUI conviction. For you, it is more important to know that has never happened to one of our clients and we can help you save your RN license, too. Call me or fill out the contact form below and I will be happy to provide you with a candid assessment of what you can expect in your specific case.

  • At this time, we only represent nurses and nursing students in California, Arizona, and Texas*

  • *For licenses in other states, please visit TAANA