Consequence of DWI/DUI on an LPN License

It’s a commonly raised question among LPN students and currently working nurses who have somehow found themselves with DUI (driving under the influence) trouble.

Meaning of DUI can be interpreted as two separate forms:

  • A person arrested driving while his/her blood alcohol level is over 0.08% can be convicted as driving under influence in some states. And in some states, the legal limit for alcohol level may be up to 0.1%.
  • If a person’s physical abilities such as: hearing, vision, walking, talking, etc., is impaired due to any kind of drug and/or alcohol, regardless of the legality of the drug, this may result in a DUI conviction.

There may be other DUI meanings and interpretations depending on a state’s regulations.

Laws Regarding DUI

Driving under the influence has serious consequences in all states. However, the law may have slightly different interpretations and implementations, depending on the state. DUI also has different names in various states:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
  • Operating under the influence (OUI)
  • Operating a motor vehicle intoxicated (OMVI)

In most cases the following penalties may be applied to a person convicted of DUI:

  • The worst is you may have to do jail time. The amount of jail time a person has to do depends on the danger level of the DUI.
  • Depending on the jurisdiction, a DUI convicted person may be subjected to a fine of $2000 or more.
  • Community service (subject to state regulations)
  • Drivers license suspension and/or revocation
  • Mandatory alcohol education and/or assessment/treatment
  • Vehicle may be impounded or confiscated
  • You may be forced to install ignition interlock (What this device does is that it locks the car’s ignition system and the car will not start unless the driver breaths through the analyzer and the analysis shows a blood alcohol level under the legal limit. This is actually a great solution, although irresponsible driver can potentially cheat and manipulate the device easily)

In addition to legal consequences, a DUI may also result in high insurance costs and may also have a negative impact on a convicted person employment.

How Much Can a DUI Conviction Affect LPN licenses?

If you have been involved in a DUI in the past and you are worried how it may affect your license, the most assuring answer can only come from your state nursing board. But you can do your homework beforehand, in order to avoid any surprises. The worst DUI case for any healthcare professional is probably the one related to the use of illegal drugs. That may affect your initial license or your license renewal very much. A one-time alcohol rated DUI may not affect your LNP license, depending on the nature of your arrest. When you apply for a license initially, or during renewal, the state board of nursing will ask some disciplinary questions (whether you have ever been convicted of anything or if you have done any jail time, etc.), which later will be backed by your criminal record. You should state everything truthfully and explain yourself later.

I have seen a lot of nursing students who got arrested for a DUI while they are going to nursing school and end up in this situation. If you can find another person who has passed through this situation in your state, that would be an ideal person to talk to, but you can also talk to a lawyer who specialize in DUI. Each state has its own regulation of DUI law and there is no better person to consult than a lawyer, who specializes in DUI.

Disclaimer: I’m not an attorney and my legal knowledge is also very limited. What you find in this article should not be interpreted as legal advice.

Last Modified: 02 Feb 2012