What Happens When a Doctor Gets a DUI?

This content has been reviewed and fact-checked by a certified addiction therapist.

This content has been reviewed and fact-checked by a certified addiction therapist.

Table of Contents

Do Doctors get DUIs?

The simple answer is yes. Doctors, like any other human being, can make mistakes and get behind the wheel after drinking too much. 

But unlike most people, doctors are held to a higher standard by professional medical licensing boards. If you are a doctor and you get a DUI conviction, it could mean that you lose your license to practice medicine.

What are the penalties for doctors convicted of DUI?

The penalties vary by state and depend on a variety of factors, such as your blood alcohol level at the time of arrest, prior convictions, and any mitigating circumstances surrounding the incident. 

Generally speaking, the penalty can range from fines to suspension or revocation of your drivers license. It’s important to know that doctors meet the same consequences as anyone else who gets behind the wheel and drives intoxicated.

How Can Doctors Avoid Getting a DUI?

The best way to avoid getting a DUI is by not drinking and driving in the first place. If you do plan on consuming alcohol, make sure you plan and have a designated driver or take an Uber or Lyft. 

Be aware of your state’s laws, and remember that you can still be convicted of a DUI if your blood alcohol level is above the legal limit.

What Should a Doctor do if They Get a DUI?

Get a Lawyer 

If you are a doctor and have been arrested for a DUI, it is important to contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately.

A skilled lawyer can help you understand your rights, evaluate defense options and work to get the charges dismissed or reduced.

Additionally, they can work with the medical licensing board to mitigate the impact of a conviction on your license. It is also important to be proactive in getting help with any alcohol or drug issues that may have contributed to the charge.

The sooner you get help, the better your chance of minimizing the consequences and keeping your medical license intact.

Additionally, getting help for any underlying issues will give you the best chance of avoiding similar situations.

self-report to the Medical Board

If you are a doctor and have been charged or convicted of a DUI in Arizona, it is important to self-report the charge to the Board as soon as possible, specifically within 10 days of being charged and arrested.

It’s important to note that you must report after being charged, does not wait until after you are officially convicted!

The sooner you report the incident, the more likely you will receive leniency from the Board; however, there are no guarantees. But overall, the medical board values transparency.

What Does the Medical Board Usually do When a Doctor gets a DUI?

The medical board takes each case on an individual basis. Depending on the specifics of your DUI, the board may take disciplinary action such as suspending or revoking your medical license.

This decision will generally be based on factors such as your blood alcohol level at the time of arrest, prior convictions, and any mitigating circumstances surrounding the incident.

They may also require that you take steps to ensure that a similar situation does not occur in the future, such as attending education courses or seeking treatment for alcohol or substance abuse.

Will I Lose My Medical License if I Get a DUI?

A DUI can have serious consequences on a doctor’s career and may result in losing their medical license. 

Ultimately, it is up to the medical licensing boards to decide what action they take against doctors convicted of DUIs.

The board considers many factors when determining whether to revoke or suspend a doctor’s license. 

The medical board will likely set out a plan of required steps that you need to take to salvage your medical license.

If you do not comply with the medical board’s requirements, there’s a possibility that you will lose your license to practice medicine in Arizona.

The best line of defense to help yourself and to quickly resolve this issue is to comply with any and all requirements set out by the board.

Don’t take a DUI Charge Lightly

If you are a licensed practicing medical doctor in the state of Arizona who has received a DUI, it’s essential that you take a DUI charge seriously.

Taking simple steps to protect yourself and your medical license starts with understanding the law, contacting a DUI attorney, and being proactive about resolving any issues that may have contributed to the charge is always the best route to take.

Cornerstone DUI Can Help You

If you are a doctor who has been charged with a DUI, we understand how devastating and embarrassing it can be. 

Cornerstone DUI offers alcohol screenings, DUI screenings, and online DUI education that the Arizona courts approve.

We can help you meet the important requirements set out by the courts through our self-paced courses.

If you’ve been required to complete DUI education, please give us a call today at (888) 822-0306 and let us help you.


[1] Arizona Medical Board Self-ReportD

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Dane is the Director of Virtual services at Cornerstone. He also contributes factual guides on DUI education so that you can understand all there is to know about DUI laws, DUI education, getting through the process of dealing with a DUI, and getting back on the road.
lionel estrada lisac clinical director


Lionel, a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC) with over 4 years at Cornerstone. Passionate about helping those with addiction, he has trained as an EMDR therapist  adopting a trauma-informed approach to treat the underlying issues of addiction, providing an empathetic approach to addiction.

Articles written prior to August 2023 were also clinically reviewed by Karen Williams, LPC 

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