Driving under the influence of intoxicants has many consequences and depending on your career, the severity of the aftermath can significantly increase. A DUII can inhibit your ability to get to your job, impact your focus at work, and so much more. Although these charges negatively impact anyone with a job, they are quite harmful to those in the medical field. Below we talk about the general consequences of a DUII. We will then delve into how a DUII affects a medical career and the steps these convicted individuals can take to move forward.
Consequences of a DUII Conviction
The consequences of a DUII intensify depending on the number of previous offenses the person has—even first-time offenses carry massive consequences. For example, a first DUII offense can face between 48 hours to one year in jail. The jail time depends on how high the offender’s blood alcohol content is and the driver’s age. First-time offenders will also have their license suspended for one year.
A motorist’s second offense can cost them anything from $1,500 to $6,250; however, the fines can climb to as high as $10,000 if there is a passenger under 18 years of age. The time spent in jail is the same as a first-time offender, but the state will suspend the individual’s license for three years instead of one. Officials may also put an Ignition Interlock Device in the person’s vehicle for two years.
A third-time offender will have their license suspended permanently. They could face 90 days to five years in jail and the fines could reach $125,000 if the driver receives a Class C felony conviction. After ten years, the driver may petition to restore their license—that’s ten years without the ability to drive yourself to and from the places you need to go. These consequences are strict and can seriously affect someone personally and professionally—especially in the healthcare field. Next, we’ll discuss how a DUII affects your medical career.
How a DUII Affects Your Medical Career
In almost all states, if convicted of a DUII, you need to report that conviction to your state’s medical board. Oregon Law requires physicians and surgeons to report a “conviction or arrest to the licensee’s board within 10 days after the conviction or arrest.” If the driver does not report this information, the state considers this a Class A violation. Learn more about the different effects, below.
DUII’s Effect on Medical Education
Some other serious collateral consequences of DUIIs happens for those going into or those already in the medical field. Since a DUII conviction will stay on your criminal history for at least ten years, applying to medical school can be quite damaging. For example, if you receive a DUII charge and are planning on applying to medical school, you only have one option when it comes to disclosing information: answer truthfully.
It may be tempting to hide the reality, but that can come back to bite you—especially since the majority of medical schools conduct background checks. It’s incredibly important to stay honest on your application. Even though there is a chance it will affect the likelihood of you getting in, it’s better in the long run. It’s also important to note that a singular DUII offense is much less impactful than a second or third offense on your application. With the help of a strong Clackamas County DUII attorney, you may even be able to reduce your DUII charge to reckless or negligent driving (which saves you $1,900 in insurance). This can also do wonders for your career in the medical field. Additionally, good recommendation letters and a strong personal essay can be more influential than the DUII.
DUII’s Effect on Medical Licensing
If an officer charges you with a DUII after you’ve finished medical school and obtained your medical license, then you must report it. As previously stated, physicians, nurses, and surgeons must report any public offenses to the medical board. Those on the board evaluate these offenses on a case-by-case basis and will look into more than just that one offense. For example, they may review the circumstances around your arrest as well as any previous convictions. This can end up being the cause for serious disciplinary action.
Even just a single DUII conviction can result in strict probation for the person. This can include random drug and alcohol testing and mandatory Alcohol Anonymous meetings. The strict nature comes from how the Department of Health and other professional licensing boards view this incident. They see physicians, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals with DUII offenses as a risk to the public. Below you can find a few of the main fines and sanctions of these charges.
- Additional fines ranging from $500–$10,000
- Revocation of license, including licenses in other states
- Random alcohol and drug testing
- A letter of concern placed in the personal file
- Loss of employment
- Increased difficulty in finding future employment
If You’re in Oregon…
In Oregon, if you’re in the medical field and receive a DUII charge, you must submit your own signed explanation. This is different than the attorney’s summary or a statement written by a separate party. You must write about the event, and include details such as the dates, circumstances, and the final outcome. You will also have to request the law enforcement agency send copies of the arresting officer’s report and any other related court documents to the Oregon Medical Board. Oregon is not as strict as other states, but either way, the consequences are still strict and can impact the rest of your career.
How a Lawyer Can Help
If an officer arrests you or anyone you know in the medical field for a DUII, contact Jared Justice—a criminal defense attorney—as soon as possible. He can help reduce or remove the charges so that you don’t have to deal with the collateral consequences of facing a DUII conviction. To keep from driving under the influence of intoxicants in general, take the necessary precautions—know your limits and don’t drink and drive. Your career depends on it!