Seeing flashing lights in the rearview mirror is never a good sign. When police stop an Amherst resident and suspect the individual of drunk driving, a driver’s anxiety can skyrocket as he or she considers the consequences associated with a conviction. If that driver is a nurse, the situation can become even more stressful since nurses tend to face additional ramifications from a DWI conviction outside of the criminal justice system.
In addition to potentially facing jail time, fines, a driver’s license suspension, community service, probation and/or alcohol treatment, a nurse could face disciplinary action from the state’s board of nursing. At the heart of most inquiries is ensuring that a particular nurse is not a danger to patients, the public or to him or herself. Part of the consideration is whether the offense included injury or death, or was charged as a felony. Employers could also impose their own sanctions.
An array of actions could be taken against a nurse convicted of DWI. He or she could continue work but with supervision, could end up suspended or could even end up losing his or her license. There are ways to mitigate any potential discipline from the board, but one way to almost guarantee harsher sanctions is not to tell the board right away. The news could easily get to the board through other means, and the consequences of not coming forward could be worse.
Fortunately, a nurse can take steps to help reduce or eliminate any potential ramifications from a DWI. A prepared statement regarding the circumstances of the incident and what he or she plans to do to prevent such activity in the future could help. Seeking out counseling or treatment without prompting from the court or the board could also help. In order to ascertain the most advantageous steps to take, it will be necessary to thoroughly review the situation and explore all possible options.