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Help! I’m a Nurse & I Got a DUI – What Do I Do?

Nurses are healthcare professionals entrusted with the care of patients. Therefore, the Arizona State Board of Nursing takes alcohol and drug charges against nurses quite seriously. If you are a nurse and you get a DUI, it will impact your personal and professional life.

Do I Have to Report my DUI to the State Board?
Yes. Nurses are must report any criminal charges against them within 10 days of receiving them.

What If I Admit I Have an Addiction?
You may be eligible for the Chemically Addicted Nurses Diversion Option (CANDO). This program treats and monitors nurses with chemical dependency. It is a three-year program that includes treatment, 12-step programs, a nurses’ recovery group, work restrictions, and the involvement of your medical care provider. You must abstain from all addictive drugs and alcohol while you are in the CANDO program, and you will be randomly screened for drug use. If you do not use CANDO, you will be on chemical dependency probation for three years.

What If I’m Not an Addict? I Just Made a Mistake in Thinking I was Safe to Drive.
In the best case scenario, you’ll get a Letter of Concern. However, if your blood alcohol level was above 0.149, you caused public or patent harm, your DUI was based on a substance other than alcohol, or if you behavior raised other employment concerns, you will be evaluated for an addiction.

If you are disciplined, you might receive a Decree of Censure, three years of chemical dependency probation, suspension pending treatment for dependency, or other probation that could include drug screening and counseling.

What If I Have Multiple DUIs?
Receiving two or more DUIs could have a variety of results:

  • CANDO,
  • Review of employment and legal history,
  • Probation,
  • Suspension followed by probation, or
  • Revocation of your nursing license.

These situations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

What If I Get an Aggravated DUI?
Regular DUIs, Extreme DUIs, and Super Extreme DUIs are misdemeanors in Arizona; however an Aggravated DUI is a felony. Arizona law states that a felony conviction will result in the revocation of your nursing license.

If My License is Revoked, Can I Get it Back?
Maybe. If your license is revoked, you may apply for reinstatement after five years. You must “demonstrate that the reason for the revocation has been remediated to reduce the potential of harm and unsafe practice.”

If you are a nurse who has been arrested for DUI, contact the Phoenix Arizona DUI lawyers at the DUI Law Office Oracle Law Group Office P.C.