If you are a student nurse that been recently convicted of a DUI, you are no doubt very nervous about what this means for the career you have been working so hard toward. The good news is, while this is a grave matter, your career doesn’t have to be over before it even starts.
If you don’t already have an attorney, you will want one. Make sure you have an attorney with an excellent record representing those with DUIs who also know Texas laws around nursing will be your best bet. They will guide you through the necessary steps to get your nursing career back on track.
DWI vs. DUI: Are They the Same?
In most states, the terms are used interchangeably, and both mean driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol and drugs. But in Texas, a DWI is a more severe crime. It comes with high fines and possible suspension of your driver’s license.
Typically, in Texas, DUIs are only charged to minors – those under the age of 21. So the fines aren’t as high (up to $500), and you may have to do community service. However, it can still affect your ability to get a job.
What Happens if a Student Nurse Gets a DWI/DUI In Texas?
The Texas Board of Nursing (BON) will look into your criminal history, and getting a DWI or DUI is considered part of your criminal history. You broke the law.
You should still be able to complete nursing school even after a DUI or DWI. But in the meantime, you may not be allowed to work or have to work under supervision.
Can You Lose Your Licensing After Getting a DWI/DUI?
Yes, you can lose your nursing license after getting a DWI or DUI. However, it’s not likely if you have a good attorney working on your behalf.
After being charged with a DUI, it’s important to remember to be transparent. The BON (board of nursing) will be notified of your charge immediately, and trying to hide the facts will not help your case.
It’s likely that you will be placed on probation while the BON decides your fate. However, it’s important to note that if the DUI or DWI resulted in injury or death, it will be harder for you to keep your license. The circumstances around each case are different, and the details surrounding your specific situation will be considered.
Another aspect that will be considered is whether or not this is your first offense. If you’ve already had a DUI or DWI, it will be harder to convince the Board not to suspend your license. Again, this is where you will want an experienced attorney to help you.
The Ethical Standards for a Texas Nurse
Nurses are held to a higher standard because of their chosen profession. They are expected to put the well-being of others first.
As a nurse, you take an oath to do no harm. By getting a DUI or a DWI, you are considered in violation of the Nursing Practice Act.
Do Student Nurses Need to Report to the Board
Yes, even student nurses must report their DUI or DWI conviction to the Board of Nursing. You should hire a lawyer who can report the conviction on your behalf.
How We Can Help
At RN Guardian, our lawyers and staff are well-versed in DUI and nursing laws. Retaining an attorney gives you the best chance of keeping your nursing career on track.
Also, unlike other law firms, we can offer nurses a flat fee to handle their cases. On top of that, you will find that our compassionate lawyers will have your back and genuinely want to see the best possible outcome for you.