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Can a DUI conviction jeopardize your nursing license?

On Behalf of | Apr 7, 2023 | Nurse Licensing

As you undoubtedly know, the Centennial State takes a hard-line approach to drunk driving. In fact, according to the Colorado General Assembly, a conviction for driving under the influence can lead to fines, jail time and the loss of your driving privileges. You also are likely to pay higher car insurance premiums for years after a DUI conviction.

In most cases, a first-time DUI is a misdemeanor in Colorado. As a result, you probably have an affirmative obligation to report your conviction to the State Board of Nursing within 30 days. Luckily, though, you are unlikely to lose your nursing license because of a first-time DUI conviction.

Grounds for crime-related discipline

The State Board of Nursing has the ability to discipline licensed nurses who commit crimes. Because drunk driving is a crime, the nursing board can discipline you. Consequently, to avoid potential crime-related discipline, it probably makes sense to mount an aggressive defense against your DUI charges.

Grounds for alcohol-related discipline

Excessive alcohol consumption can adversely affect your performance as a nurse. As a result, the State Board of Nursing might discipline you for alcohol abuse following a DUI conviction. Fortunately, the nursing board typically wants nurses to seek help rather than lose their licenses. This means you might keep your license by attending and completing an alcohol rehabilitation program.

The State Board of Nursing usually does not yank the licenses of nurses who are making a good-faith effort to address their alcohol abuse. Ultimately, by getting help, you are likely both to keep your nursing license and to have a brighter personal and professional future.