Will a DUI arrest and conviction affect my physicians or nursing license?

Physicians and nurses face serious and career impacting consequences when they are arrested and convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Illinois. The problems that licensed health care professionals may not be limited to the State of Illinois, if the offense occurs in Illinois and professional practices in states outside Illinois. These issues are not limited to offenses in Illinois, and out-of-state incidents are equally jeopardizing. The state licensing boards and agencies charged with keeping residents safe and regulating professionals take DUI charges seriously. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) can and will investigate and discipline its licensed physicians and nurses involved in DUI incidents. Disciplinary action in Illinois will likely follow a licensed health care professional in the future. Hiring the best lawyers and experts can make the difference between keeping and losing your career.

DUI arrests are frequent, especially in high enforcement areas with roadside sobriety checks

Many police departments in Illinois use roadside sobriety and safety checkpoints, particularly during peak travel times around the holidays. An officer who wants to find probable cause to search you and your vehicle can use a variety of indicators to justify a search, even your slight hesitation to answer questions or their opinion you braked too hard coming to a stop. In another scenario, you might be on your way home from a networking mixer and are rear-ended by a drunk driver. If your blood alcohol concentration exceeds the state limit of 0.08 percent, you are subject to arrest and conviction.

True or False: you cannot be arrested for DUI simply because you take prescription medication? False! Physicians and nurses take prescription medications like everyone else, and if the side of the pill container says anything about driving or operating a motor vehicle while taking the medication, that can also lead to a DUI arrest and conviction.

What happens if you are arrested for DUI in Illinois or out-of-state?

Call a professional licensing lawyer as soon as possible. Michael V. Favia is one of the Chicago area’s best known attorney defending physicians and nurses licensed in Illinois, because he is a former prosecutor for the IDFPR and he knows exactly how they operate and what you may be up against.

Attorney Favia will know how to properly advise you and how to report the DUI to the IDFPR and any other relevant board of regulation. These boards may have a range of fines or disciplinary sanctions they could seek to impose against you. If however, you are proactive in seeking counseling and rehabilitation efforts, in many cases, you may be able to minimize the damage and threat to your health care license.

Regulatory boards may be harsher if you are not timely and appropriate in your reporting the incident. Of course, the worst thing you could do is fail to report, which is a breach of your duty under the terms of the state conferring a license upon you in the first place. Attorney Favia, having been on both sides of the professional licensing fence, will be your best asset in protecting your career.

To fight the conviction and how zealous should you be?

While it may be appropriate to be humble and apologetic, zealously fighting a conviction can be in your best interest. Arrests are one thing, convictions are another; a conviction can lead to stronger fines and sanctions to your career, including the suspension or revocation of your physician or nursing license. A conviction versus arrest record can also lead to difficulties in other states.

The National Practitioner Data Bank may contain records of reports of DUI arrests and convictions. A simple note to the file indicating an arrest was not carried through to conviction may satisfy the State of Illinois regulatory boards such as the IDFPR, but it could lead to more strict penalties in other states where you may be licensed, now or in the future.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C., works with physicians and health care professionals who are arrested and face conviction for DUI, helping clients mitigate the damage to their license and future health care career.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent licensed physicians in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. For more about Michael V. Favia & Associates, please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.

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