Driving Under the Influence
An arrest or conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) may result in a licensing agency reviewing your professional fitness and potentially imposing discipline, up to revoking your license. The licensing agency may take action even if the conviction represents a first-time offense or where the conduct had no direct impact on your professional duties or practice. The statutes governing some licensing agencies deem alcohol-related offenses to be unprofessional conduct and include specific disciplinary actions. For example, using alcohol in excess or in a manner that endangers the license holder or the public is statutorily designated as unprofessional conduct for many healthcare professionals.
Whether the licensing agency takes disciplinary action and to what degree is highly fact specific. Boards will consider both aggravating and mitigating factors, as well as whether the conduct indicates a larger chemical dependency issue. Limiting or avoiding discipline against your professional license may depend on how well you address your licensing agency’s underlying concerns.
The California Department of Justice immediately notifies many licensing agencies when a license holder has been arrested. The agency may begin investigating you even before a conviction occurs. You may learn you are subject to investigation in a variety of ways, from receiving a formal notification letter to having an investigator approach you at work and ask you to submit to a blood test.
How we can help
If you are a professional license holder who has been arrested or convicted for DUI, it is important to protect your rights by immediately contacting an experienced license defense attorney. Our attorneys have worked with countless license holders facing DUI charges and can help you understand the specific laws and policies governing your license, consult with you about the consequences of a plea, and discuss reporting requirements. We can also work with you to develop a comprehensive defense plan intended to help mitigate or avoid discipline against your professional license.