Each year, more than one million drivers are arrested for driving under the influence in Indiana and around the country. A DUI charge is serious for anyone and can have severe implications. However, when a nurse receives a DUI, additional issues arise that could put their career and livelihood in danger.
The first DUI for a nurse
For most nurses, the first DWI/DUI will not typically result in the loss of a job. However, this all depends on the seriousness of the DUI and if people were hurt due to driving under the influence. If the nurse was pulled over by police and issued a DWI/DUI without causing an accident, they will likely face fines and possibly the loss of their license.
Additional DWI/DUI charges
If a nurse should receive additional charges for driving under the influence, they will be much more likely to face disciplinary actions at work. Nurses could be required to go before the state board of nursing to determine if they can keep their license. Even if they can retain a license, their employer could decide the DWI/DUI convictions violate their code of ethics and terminate the nurse.
Working as a nurse after a DWI/DUI charge
If you can keep your job after a DWI/DUI conviction, you may have to work under supervision for a while. Additionally, your employer could require you to seek counseling or complete a program to deal with alcohol abuse.
If you receive a DWI or DUI, you must learn if your state requires you to report the charge to your employer and the state board of nurses. You will also want to know when you must make the report. You might be required to report after an arrest or, in some cases, only if you have been convicted. In either case, it’s important to refrain from drinking and driving and to get help if you believe that you have a drinking problem.