I’m a Funeral Director & I Got a DUI

In Arizona, funeral directors and embalmers are regulated by the Arizona Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers. The Board grants licenses and takes disciplinary action against licensees who violate the rules of the profession. If a funeral director, embalmer, or applicant for licensure has a DUI on his/her record, he/she may have serious concerns regarding its effect on his/her professional career.

When I Apply for Licensure, Must I Disclose my Prior DUIs?
When you apply for licensure, the Board runs a state and federal criminal background check. They will learn about your prior DUIs. You must specifically state on your application whether, in the last five years, you have been convicted or pleaded “no contest” to any felony or misdemeanor that is “reasonably related to [your] proposed area of licensure.” The Board is primarily concerned about past crimes that involve “dishonesty, fraud, deception, misrepresentation, embezzlement, or a breach of fiduciary duty.”

If I Get a DUI after I’m Licensed, Will I be Disciplined by the Board?
Maybe. Once you are licensed, you may be disciplined if you engage in “repeated or continuing negligence or any other professional incompetence in the practice of funeral directing or embalming.” If you have an ongoing problem with substance abuse that affects your professional abilities, a DUI could be an indicator of negligence, especially if you get it while driving a mortuary vehicle.

The Board will conduct an investigation into any complaints against you and may have a formal hearing, which could result in disciplinary action or a refusal by the Board to renew your license. If you are disciplined, you may receive a letter of censure, be put on probation, be required to pay a civil fine up to $3,000, or have your license suspended or revoked.

After my DUI, Can I Still Drive the Hearse?
When you get a DUI, your driver’s license will be suspended for ninety days. You may not legally perform any job functions that involve driving while your license is suspended. After the first thirty days of your suspension, you may apply for a restricted driving permit to restore some of your driving privileges.

You will be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for at least six months after the reinstatement of your driving privileges. If you are caught driving a vehicle without such a device, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for an additional year.

What About the Mandatory Jail Time?
If you get a DUI, you will have to spend at least ten days in jail for your first offense. The court may suspend up to nine of the ten days if you participate in a drug or alcohol treatment program, which means you may only have to miss one day of work.

If you have been arrested for DUI, contact an attorney for DUI at Oracle Law Group Office P.C. for assistance with your DUI case.

Photo credit: Rob Flickenger from Flickr