In Texas, nurses who are charged with a crime risk losing their licenses and jobs. Driving under the influence (DUI) offenses in Texas come with harsh legal repercussions, and convictions can have disastrous effects on careers in the medical field.
Nurses who are charged with DUI risk having their licenses suspended or revoked by the Texas Board of Nursing (TBN) and the state's Department of Public Safety. They may even go to jail because of the criminal charges they face.
Can a Nurse Involved in a DUI Lose Their License in Texas?
After an inquiry, the TBN has the authority to suspend the offender or revoke their license. The board is in charge of regulating the licensure and renewal of nurses throughout the state.
Can a DUI Negatively Affect a Nurse's Career?
A DUI conviction does not bar anyone in Texas from working as a nurse. There could be a problem with whether or not a person could still take the NCLEX with a DUI. Several healthcare workers in the state have successfully fought off allegations. The most important thing is to avoid getting caught.
In Texas, a DUI is contestable.
What Consequences Do Texas Nurses Face for DUI Convictions?
Unless there are aggravating circumstances, a first DUI charge is considered a Class B Misdemeanor in Texas. Nurses accused of driving while intoxicated (DUI) risk going to jail, a lifetime criminal record, huge fines, and suspension of their driver's license.
If the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is less than 0.15, then it is a class B misdemeanor. The highest fine is $3,000, with up to six months in jail. A driver's license suspension follows from a finding of guilt in this case.
DUI is a Class A misdemeanor if the BAC is 0.15 or greater. The maximum penalty is a $6,000 fine and a 12-month prison term. A driver's license suspension follows a conviction for this crime, which carries a lifelong sentence.
Depending on the BAC, a DUI charge with an open container (DUIOC) can either be a Class A misdemeanor or Class B. However, the open container enhancement means that a DUIOC conviction carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence of six days.
The state classifies DUI with a Child Passenger as a jail felony. Furthermore, the maximum fine is $10,000, and the longest possible sentence of 24 months. The driver's license is suspended after a conviction for this crime, which has substantial, secondary effects.
In Texas, felony charges have harsher, potentially fatal repercussions for nurses. A criminal conviction almost certainly results in a suspension or revocation of a nurse's license. This comes after they have lost their job.
Ethical Standards for Nursing in Texas
The Texas Administrative Code specifies the ethics of nurses in the state. Additionally, all RNs, LVNs, CNAs, and APNs are expected to follow the Texas Nursing Practice Act (NPA). Failure to achieve these requirements threatens a nurse's license.
Should Nurses Report DUI Arrests to the Texas Board?
Nurses don't need to report a DUI arrest unless they are charged with a felony. However, they should disclose a pending case or arrest.
Should Nurses Report DUI Convictions to the Texas Board?
A DUI conviction in Texas is an offense that must be reported to the Board of Nursing. The nurse might face harsher penalties if an unreported conviction gets discovered instead.
An investigation will begin if a DUI conviction is reported or found. Every nurse has the right to legal representation throughout an investigation and disciplinary hearing by the TBN.
Can a DUI on My Record Prevent Me from Becoming a Nurse?
A person can obtain a nursing license in Texas even with a misdemeanor charge or conviction. However, criminal charges, even if dropped, still harm one's reputation and future employment prospects.
Getting a DUI Record in Texas Expunged
In Texas, DUI and DUI are distinct. Your record may be eligible for expunction or nondisclosure if you have faced either charge but avoided a conviction.
Contact Sparks Law Firm for a Free Consultation
A nurse arrested for a DUI should immediately contact an experienced attorney to ensure their career isn't jeopardized.
Sparks Law Firm has DUI attorneys in Tarrant County TX who have been defending nurses for years in Texas. We understand that mistakes shouldn't ruin everything someone has worked hard for. This includes their career. Other opportunities that could be lost include not being allowed to travel to other countries, such as Mexico with a DUI.
Call us at (817) 381-7846 for a free case evaluation, or visit any of our offices to talk to a seasoned defense lawyer.