February 3, 2023

What Happens When a Nurse Gets a DUI in Arizona?

When a nurse gets a DUI in Arizona, it's important for them to act quickly to resolve the issue and protect their license.

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Dane Perikly

Director of Virtual Services & DUI Education

Last Update on August 24, 2023

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The Consequences of a DUI in Arizona Can Be Serious for Nurses

Nurses in Arizona should be aware of the consequences of a DUI if they decide to drink and drive. For nurses, the penalties can be especially severe given their role as medical professionals. As well as hefty fines, license suspension, potential imprisonment, and points on their license, a DUI conviction would have implications for their licensing with the nursing board in Arizona. A nurse might find themselves in a situation where they are unable to practice their job due to restrictions or even a total license revocation based on the severity of their conviction – something that would undoubtedly cause financial ruin as well as emotional turmoil.

Can I Lose My Nursing License Over a DUI in Arizona?

Getting a DUI can be a scary experience, especially when you are trying to maintain your license as a nurse in Arizona. It is important not to panic though, because the board of nursing may or may not treat it as an offense warranting removal of your license. While they do reserve the right to revoke your license if they find you violated their code of ethics and standards of practice with your DUI, there have also been examples of practitioners simply being issued a warning. Of course, it depends upon the particular case and all factors should be taken into consideration, including any repeat offenses, alcohol abuse issues, etc.. The possibility exists however that depending upon the severity and circumstances of your DUI event, you will only have to face disciplinary action from the nursing board rather than outright revocation of your license.

Self-Reporting a DUI to the Arizona Nursing Board

It is important to note that if you have been charged with a DUI in Arizona, the board requires that you self-report it within 10 days1 of your arrest.
Failure to do so can result in disciplinary action, including license suspension or revocation.
It is essential that you report any and all arrests and convictions related to DUIs, even if the charges were dropped or dismissed.
Once you have self-reported your DUI, the Arizona nursing board may take into consideration a variety of factors when deciding how to proceed.
For example, they will look at your past record as a nurse, any prior disciplinary actions taken against you, and the severity of your offense.

How will the Arizona Nursing Board Handle a DUI Charge?

The Arizona State Board of Nursing is responsible for regulating the nursing profession in the state, and this includes having a set of guidelines in place regarding how nurses should behave when it comes to driving under the influence.

Depending on the severity and circumstances of your DUI offense, you may face disciplinary action from the board – including removal or suspension of your license. In other cases, they may only issue a warning.

The board will take into consideration all relevant factors, including repeat offenses and any signs of alcohol abuse.

It is important to be aware that DUI convictions remain on your record for up to 7 years, meaning any future background checks can reveal the incident dating back to when it occurred.

Will the Nursing Board Make Me Go to Rehab?

Depending on the circumstances of your DUI or DWI offense, the nursing board may require you to seek treatment in a rehabilitation program as part of its disciplinary action. 

This is especially common for repeat offenders and those who have been found to have an alcohol problem.

In some cases, the board may even require you to submit weekly progress reports regarding your treatment. This is to ensure that you are following through with the program and making progress in your recovery.

It’s important to note that your compliance with any treatment programs or court orders will be taken into account when the board considers your case, so it’s important to do everything possible to demonstrate your commitment to sobriety and rehabilitation.

Will the board require me to go inpatient Rehab?

In some cases, the board may require you to go inpatient for a certain period of time. This is often done as part of a comprehensive treatment plan and can involve detoxification and other intensive forms of therapy.

If you are required to go inpatient, it’s important to follow all instructions from your doctor and the board. Doing so will demonstrate your commitment to sobriety and help you get the best possible outcome from your treatment.

If you are unable to attend inpatient treatment, it’s important to explain this to the board in detail so that they have an understanding of why you may not be able to comply with their recommendations.

This can include demonstrating that there is a reasonable alternative form of treatment that can help you maintain sobriety.

It’s also important to keep in contact with the board and provide them with updates about your progress. This will show the board that you are actively working towards recovery, which can help your case when it comes time for a review.

If you have any questions about the process, don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you need. 

The board is there to help guide and support you through this difficult time in your life and they are more than happy to answer any questions that may arise.

You can also reach out to professional treatment centers for additional guidance on how best to demonstrate your commitment to maintaining sobriety. These centers can provide tailored support and resources to help ensure your success in the long run.

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Arizona?

Being charged and convicted of a DUI can be a difficult, costly process, but what comes after can sometimes have a more lasting effect.

In Arizona, DUIs remain on your record for up to 7 years. That means any future background checks you may go through can reveal the incident dating back to the date of your arrest.

It’s important to note that this doesn’t refer just to criminal background checks by employers or landlords – it also affects your auto insurance premiums and other related matters.

Get in Contact With a DUI Lawyer Immediately

As a nurse, you face unique circumstances after being charged with DUI. Being found guilty may result in revocation or suspension of your nursing license.

The threat of losing your livelihood is very real and intimidating – but don’t panic. If you are being faced with a DUI charge, it is important to take immediate action and get in contact with an experienced lawyer specialized in such cases right away.

They can provide helpful advice regarding the specific legal process and work hard to ensure that your rights are protected.

Taking swift action by contacting a lawyer gives you the best possible chance for fighting any potential penalties and having the most positive outcome for your situation.

Attend DUI Classes at Cornerstone DUI 

Being required to attend DUI education classes can seem daunting, but it is an important part of the process as you work through your requirements to solve your DUI charges. 

At Cornerstone DUI classes, you will learn more about alcohol abuse and addiction, best practices for staying safe while driving, and techniques to develop healthy habits and behaviors.

No matter the circumstances that give you the need for DUI classes, they are designed to help you obtain helpful ways to improve your understanding of drinking responsibly and keep yourself – and those around you – safe while out on the roads.

Sources

[1] Self-Reporting a DUI to the Nursing Board

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Author & Reviewers

dane perikly dui writer headshot

Dane Perikly

DIRECTOR OF VIRTUAL SERVICES

Dane is the Director of Virtual services at Cornerstone. He contributes guides on DUI education so that you can understand all there is to know about DUI charges, education, and the overall process of meeting Arizona requirements after a DUI. He cares deeply about raising awareness of the dangers of DUI and illustrating the impact on victims and on those charged. 

lionel estrada lisac clinical director
CLINICAL DIRECTOR

Lionel is the Clinical Director of Cornerstone’s Scottsdale treatment facilities. He has had over 4 years at Cornerstone. He is personally in recovery and passionate about helping others overcome substance abuse and mental health challenges, he is trained as an EMDR, adopting a trauma-informed approach to treat the underlying issues of conditions.

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