How a DUI Could Affect Your Professional License
Driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances can result in serious consequences for people with a professional license. In Florida, if a person has a job in the health professions that requires a license to practice, and said person is convicted of DUI, his or her professional license may be suspended.
DUI Has Lasting Consequences
DUI results in thousands of lives lost each year. Drunk driving remains a serious problem on our highways. Considering that Florida frequently heads the list for fatal accidents across the United States, it is not surprising that our state would have severe penalties for DUI. A DUI conviction in Florida can remain on your record for 75 years.
How a DUI Can Impact Your Professional License
Most professions have a code of ethics or code of conduct on top of state expectations. Members of those professions are expected to comply with those codes, and violations can result in disciplinary measures. Professional associations have high expectations of their members, as well. Any conduct that reflects poorly on the profession or association has consequences, and a conviction of DUI can have serious implications.
People with professional licenses are subject to having their license suspended. In some situations you may come up for review. Depending on the seriousness of the charge, you may not be allowed to practice or some other disciplinary action may be taken.
You can expect the board of your profession to investigate the charges. Their sanctions will be in addition to the penalties levied against you by the state of Florida. You may need to pay fines and the board can require random alcohol and drug testing. Expect to participate in mandatory counseling. A “Letter of Concern” may be added to your professional file. This could impact any future positions you may seek.
DUI Convictions Must Be Reported
If you are arrested for DUI, but not convicted, you do not need to report it. If, however, you are convicted of a DUI, you must report it to your professional board within 30 days of the conviction. Depending on what professional license you hold, conviction of DUI means you will need to update your online profile. You will have 15 days from the time of conviction in which to do this.
The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation or the Department of Health may also take action against you after a conviction. An investigation may take place and you could be suspended if their work has been compromised in any way.
Holding Out Hope
The state of Florida takes DUI seriously. The penalties are stiff for professionals. This is why you should get experienced legal help. You can fight a DUI rather than accept the penalties. You have a lot on the line and you do have rights under the law. Sometimes those rights are violated in ways an average person is unaware. Attorneys familiar with DUI cases can determine if your rights have been respected or violated.
If you have been arrested for DUI, contact the Tison Law Group. We have experienced lawyers who can assist you in your case. Our office is located in Tampa, Florida. Give us a call or send us an email. You have worked hard to get to where you are in your profession. Don’t surrender your professional reputation without a fight. Tison Law Group is here to help.