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Individuals who work in the healthcare field can face grave consequences when they have committed a DUI offense. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can result in disciplinary action being taken against the individual from their state’s licensing board. In the Los Angeles area, registered nurses can face a number of penalties if they are convicted of a DUI offense, including the suspension or even revocation of their nursing or medical license. Vocational nurses and psychiatric technicians face equally serious consequences if they a charged with a DUI.
The Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric technicians in the state of California is an agency that oversees licensing for Licensed Vocational Nurses or LVNs. In addition, the Board also has the responsibility of disciplining those nurses who commit violations of the law. Any individual who holds a license and is convicted of a traffic offense that involves the use or abuse of alcohol or drugs is required to report their conviction. If an individual is arrested for a DUI, they don’t have to report that information to the Board, but if there is a conviction, they must report it. At the same time, the Board is automatically notified whenever a person holding one of its licenses is arrested and fingerprinted as the fingerprints go through the LiveScan database. Upon this knowledge, the Board sends the individual a notice that an investigation will be done on them in a few weeks’ time. It is also mandatory that anyone applying for a nursing license or renewing their existing one report any prior criminal convictions to the Board. The Board particularly takes DUI offenses very seriously.
There are certain sanctions the Board can deliver to an individual holding a nursing degree if they are convicted of a DUI. In general, the Board can suspend the individual’s license for a period of time or can revoke it. Another thing that can be done is that the Board can put the person on probation for a certain amount of time. In any case, there will be an investigation that looks into the facts of the situation. If the individual is found to have had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 percent or there are certain other factors involved, the Board can take disciplinary action, even if it is a first DUI offense.
The Board can choose whether to reprimand any vocation nurse who has a DUI conviction or even publish a notification about disciplinary action against them on its website. This is available to any potential future employers and can risk the individual’s chances of finding employment. The Board can also order that the individual take a leave of absence if their dependency on substances is an issue and can eventually decide whether to revoke their license if they are deemed unfit to practice nursing.
In addition to disciplinary action taken by the Board, the vocational nurse would also have to deal with the legal consequences of their DUI offense. If the individual is convicted, there are additional penalties that are given by the judge. For a first-time offense, the person would be required to attend DUI classes for a maximum of nine months and pay the victim if there was one involved in the accident. Weekly AA meetings may also be required. In addition, the DMV would suspend the person’s driver’s license for four months on a first offense. If the individual refused a chemical test, they would face license suspension for a year.