We consider a high blood alcohol content or BAC, anything above .16% and the higher the BAC is, the greater likelihood of formal NP License discipline by the BRN.

In every DUI case I can think of that we have handled for our nurse practitioners who have a first DUI, with a BAC below a .15% and no accidents, our result is nothing more than a citation fine from the board of registered nursing. At .16% you are double the legal limit and it becomes much harder for us to argue that you were not “using alcohol in a manner dangerous to yourself or others” (this is the BRNs language).

While we have been successful in getting citations and fines for nurses with BACs in the .2%, it is exceedingly rare. If you have been arrested for a DUI and have, or expect to have a high BAC (anything above .16%) here are the Factors the BRN considers when deciding on issuing a citation and fine verses filing an Accusation.

What you can do to increase your likelihood of a citation and fine

  1. Evidence of Rehabilitation
    • In order to issue a citation and fine, you must convince the BRN that this was an isolated incident of terrible judgement and you will never EVER do it again.
      1. AA meetings.
      2. Extra MADD meetings
      3. Counseling
      4. Sobriety date
      5. Statements from people who know you testifying this was totally out of character.
      6. Online drug and alcohol classes.
      7. Basically, anything the courts are going to require as part of your DUI sentencing, start early and do more than they require.
  2. Letters of recommendations and performance evaluations from your supervisors and employer
    • I know. You don’t want to tell your employer because you are embarrassed or worried you will lose your job, but here’s the thing: without letters from your supervisors you don’t stand much of a chance in getting the citation and fine. If an Accusation is filed, that is public record and they are going to know about it anyway. This is a fine line and we can help you determine how and when is the best time to request these letters as well as what we would like them to say.

Keep in mind that it takes about 6 months from the date of  the DUI arrest to the conviction. If your BAC was taken by blood, it could be a month after the arrest before that information is available via Discovery request. It is very important that you get started on building your evidence of rehabilitation immediately following the arrest. It shows the BRN that you take this seriously, you are doing everything you possibly can to ensure it doesn’t happen again and you are not a future risk to the public. If we can “prove” this to the BRN, they will issue a Citation and Fine. If you can not convince them of this, they will file an Accusation. It is truly as simple as that.

Finally, even if a citation and fine is not a realistic result, please know that we have NEVER had a nurse lose their RN, LVN or NP license for a DUI. Not ever, regardless of the circumstances. We’ve had DUIs with accidents receive citations and fines. We’ve had a BAC with .27% – that resulted in a Public Reprimand. We’ve had second and third DUIs result in probation with a rule out provision.

The BRN takes DUIs very seriously and as a nurse you are held to an exceptionally high standard of personal conduct. Thousands of nurse practitioners have had their licenses revoked for DUIs, just not any of ours. Call me or fill out the online retainer request form and let’s get a strategy in place to protect you, your license and your NP career.