If you are drunk, don't drive! - page 15

If you are a nurse, and you drive while you are drunk; the Board of Nursing can suspend your nursing license for good!!! This is hard to believe...but it is true!!!!... Read More

  1. by   Tweety
    Here's a link. Obviously it's not an exact science and there are some problems with it. Used correctly it can be important I'm sure.

    http://www.nj-dwi.com/sobriety-1.htm
    Last edit by Tweety on Feb 10, '07
  2. by   caliotter3
    Pretty much what Tweety described is what a field sobriety test is as I was taught many yrs ago when I went thru basic police tng in the military. I never got a chance to put my tng into everyday practice as I took the tng for different reasons. Perhaps somebody who has a law enforcement spouse or has been a cop themselves can be more specific and up to date.
  3. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from caliotter3
    Pretty much what Tweety described is what a field sobriety test is as I was taught many yrs ago when I went thru basic police tng in the military. I never got a chance to put my tng into everyday practice as I took the tng for different reasons. Perhaps somebody who has a law enforcement spouse or has been a cop themselves can be more specific and up to date.
    I'll call my nephew in the morning - I do know they are trained in this area.

    steph
  4. by   Ann RN
    Quote from jimthorp
    What specifically is a field sobriety test?
    Jim, I assume you are from PA (your name). As I have stated before, there is an Implied Consent Law in PA. Just by being licensed to drive in PA, you have consented to just such a test. If you are arrested for DUI and refuse, your license will be taken away for a minimum of one year.

    As for my godson's accident - his BAC was 0.11. He is 5' 8" and a little on the thinner side. There were 2 charges. One was DUI and the other was vehicular homicide. This charge for a beautiful boy who, after having to shoot his first person in Iraq, called his father and asked, "Daddy, why did I have to kill that man?" So the accident does not have to be your fault, but you can still be held responsible. That is why I do not understand that when you say "2 pints affect me the same way" that you also say "the only time I drink and drive is when I have a beer or two with dinner".

    What do you think nurses can do to make the "gray areas" more clear? I respect your right to have the opinion you do, but I would like to hear your solutions.
  5. by   shaneRN
    I am an RN who once was arrested for DUI. My violation occured over 11 years ago. I was going through a divorce (not an excuse) and my life was an utter mess. I made a horrible choice that night and I thank God everday that I didn't injur or kill a fellow human being. At the time the legal limit here in Idaho was .10. I blew a .05 and .07 on serial intoxilizer tests but was charged because I failed the Feild Sobriety Test. Also affecting my impairment was the fact that I was taking prescription anxiolytic medication. I pled guilty, weaned myself off the medication under the direction of my PCP and vowed to never drink alcohol again. In fact the last time I consumed alcohol was December 20, 1995. Of course, I didn't become a nurse until 8 years later but I have to answer yes to application questions that ask if I have ever been convicted of a misdemeanor, or have ever illegally used substances. To date, it has not caused me any trouble in getting licensure (perhaps because my record is clear in all other aspects and it occured in the past). I guess my point is that people (nurses included) make horrible choices at times. The hope is that we learn from these mistakes and it helps us to grow. I feel that the counseling that I entered following my conviction contributes significantly to the Nurse that I am today. I think it would be an aweful day when a conviction for DUI resulted in an automatic lifetime denial of licensure. If a nurse consistantly makes dangerous decisions at work or in there personal life the argument takes on a new light. Thank god I got to learn that one without injuring or killing someone else.
  6. by   Agnus
    I read much talk here about "poor judgement" and weather that poor judgement is carried over into one's work. I am also reading here that one does not intend to comit bodily harm when they exercise the "poor judgement" of drinking and driving.

    Consider this as this is the whole point of such laws. But I didn't mean to kill your child, wife, mother, sister, fiance, family, etc. I was only exercising poor judgement" Reguardless of the intent they or she/he are dead, and I am responsible.

    Now consider this senerio. "I didn't intend to kill or harm the patient I was only exercising poor judgement." I don't mean this as an introduction of, if one then the other. Of course one does not necesiairly follow the other. We know though that an offender of malpractice for example is more often than not a repeat offender. He may not have been caught each time or sued each time. Yet in deposition and court it tends to show up that a given case is not the first time.

    Those who exercise poor judgement with the knowledge that the results could be extreemly tragic tend to repeat this behavior. How many DUIs does it take to kill some one. (I read here that it should be after the 3rd conviction that one should be penialized.) Honestly it taks only once. We were simply lucky that the drived did no harm this time. Why press luck, when it means human life?

    We also know from studies that those who tend to use poor judgement in one area of life do so in others. If you have so poor reguard for human life that you are willing to gamble that you will not kill someone if you get behind the wheel while under the influence today then what business do have being isn a professions where we could potentially gamble this way multiple times a day with the same people? (patients)

    "Poor judgement" is a polite term used to make something serious seem less so. Consequently it is a rationalization for disreguard of human life.

    The SOLE reason that we enacted the laws that allow us to rehabilitate nurse who are drug and alcohol abusers was NOT to take pity on the poor nurse who just had "poor judgement" The reason was to stop nurses from covering up and hiding the fact that they or a collegue were guilt of this. When there is kowledge that you will or may be punished you tend to hide that you abuse or that a collegue abuses. After all punishment means loss of a professional license. The ability to earn an income in that profession. So you hide it. By taking away the punishment and offering rehabilitation nurses are more likely to report collegues and even themselves when they are a risk.
    Last edit by Agnus on Feb 11, '07
  7. by   Tweety
    Thanks for sharing your story Shane. I'm glad you were given to opportunity to work as a nurse and you've "cleaned up your act". Kudos and congratulations!

    You do illustrate a point that I implied in this thread. At the time of your DUI, your life was a mess, you were on other drugs, etc., and were not functioning optimally. If you were a licensed nurse at the time, you might have needed some intervention to keep that "mess" from spilling over into your practice. Not that it would have, but the potential was there. The DUI would have been a red flag.

    Not that we licensed professionals don't get messy lives. We all do, that's life.
    Last edit by Tweety on Feb 11, '07
  8. by   shaneRN
    Quote from Tweety
    Thanks for sharing your story Shane. I'm glad you were given to opportunity to work as a nurse and you've "cleaned up your act". Kudos and congratulations!

    You do illustrate a point that I implied in this thread. At the time of your DUI, your life was a mess, you were on other drugs, etc., and were not functioning optimally. If you were a licensed nurse at the time, you might have needed some intervention to keep that "mess" from spilling over into your practice. Not that it would have, but the potential was there. The DUI would have been a red flag.

    Not that we licensed professionals don't get messy lives. We all do, that's life.
    Absolutely true!! And important to note that just because at a given point in time someone is "messed up" does not imply that it's a permanent state. We are all human! We do make mistakes! and We hopefully get the chance to recover! That is what the board of nursing's "Recovering Nurse" programs address.
  9. by   shaneRN
    Quote from Agnus
    I read much talk here about "poor judgement" and weather that poor judgement is carried over into one's work. I am also reading here that one does not intend to comit bodily harm when they exercise the "poor judgement" of drinking and driving.

    Consider this as this is the whole point of such laws. But I didn't mean to kill your child, wife, mother, sister, fiance, family, etc. I was only exercising poor judgement" Reguardless of the intent they or she/he are dead, and I am responsible.

    Now consider this senerio. "I didn't intend to kill or harm the patient I was only exercising poor judgement." I don't mean this as an introduction of, if one then the other. Of course one does not necesiairly follow the other. We know though that an offender of malpractice for example is more often than not a repeat offender. He may not have been caught each time or sued each time. Yet in deposition and court it tends to show up that a given case is not the first time.

    Those who exercise poor judgement with the knowledge that the results could be extreemly tragic tend to repeat this behavior. How many DUIs does it take to kill some one. (I read here that it should be after the 3rd conviction that one should be penialized.) Honestly it taks only once. We were simply lucky that the drived did no harm this time. Why press luck, when it means human life?

    We also know from studies that those who tend to use poor judgement in one area of life do so in others. If you have so poor reguard for human life that you are willing to gamble that you will not kill someone if you get behind the wheel while under the influence today then what business do have being isn a professions where we could potentially gamble this way multiple times a day with the same people? (patients)

    "Poor judgement" is a polite term used to make something serious seem less so. Consequently it is a rationalization for disreguard of human life.

    The SOLE reason that we enacted the laws that allow us to rehabilitate nurse who are drug and alcohol abusers was NOT to take pity on the poor nurse who just had "poor judgement" The reason was to stop nurses from covering up and hiding the fact that they or a collegue were guilt of this. When there is kowledge that you will or may be punished you tend to hide that you abuse or that a collegue abuses. After all punishment means loss of a professional license. The ability to earn an income in that profession. So you hide it. By taking away the punishment and offering rehabilitation nurses are more likely to report collegues and even themselves when they are a risk.
    I have to disagree! While programs that allow rehabilitation of substance abusing nurses play an important role in preventing "cover up" at least in some states this is not the stated reason for which the programs are enacted. Included in the purpose is the opportunity for the nurse to continue contributing to the profession while recovering from the substance abuse. Pity for has nothing to do with it nor do I feel that any reasonable person would argue it does!! The point you miss Agnus is that "poor judgement" does not damn you to a lifetime of mistakes. People can and do learn from their mistakes.
  10. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from jimthorp
    I understand that. Two beers with dinner is not enough to put me over the legal limit or near it. Part of the tradgedy is the young boy in jail.

    Does the BON look at sticking their nose into my personal life as a deterent? Does the BON think that someone with a DUI is more likely to put patients at risk for harm? Does the BON think a nurse with a DUI casts a bad light onto the profession? I am a human, son, brother, uncle, husband, father, God fearing Christian, etc, and lastly a nurse.

    I think people who take perscribed narcotic analgesics or any number of OTC's known to cause impairment and go to work are a far more common and a bigger threat to a patient than someone who has had a DUI off the job, yet you don't see near the commotion about this and it's legal. Much of the reason is the attention the media gives the issues.
    The amount of alcohol does not matter. Drinking ANY alcohol and driving is wrong. Whether one beer or a quart of vodka straight. While the law only prosecutes those with a certain level, just stepping behind the wheel after ANY alcohol is wrong, and shows the intent to commit a crime.

    What does being a "son, brother, uncle, husband, father, G-d fearing Christian" have to do with anything in this topic.

    And BONs/ laws DO prosecute those that work or drive impaired by narcotics and OTCs, prescribed or otherwise. I believe that is why they come with warning labels.
  11. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from jimthorp

    I don't think comparing a pedophile, batterer, murderer, rapist, etc to a DUI is a fair comparison. All but the later is a deliberate act against another human being. A DUI is not.
    Actually it is a fair comparison.

    You discuss "intent" making the difference. Many pedophiles and rapists do not "intend" on harm for their victims. Many think that they are "helping" those that they victimize or that the victim really "wants it". Batterers justify their actions by the"oh, I had a bad day - they are pushing me to the edge - they deserve it - I am just too stressed out".

    Many of the latter excuses have shown up in this thread, in the idea of "what if a nurse has a bad day and drinks", etc.

    Many violent offender do not "intend" to kill/molest, but the end result is still a crime.
  12. by   vamedic4
    OT>>>>>

    Thank you shane, for sharing what I'm sure is one heckuva painful lesson.

    Quote from shaneRN
    I am an RN who once was arrested for DUI. My violation occured over 11 years ago. I was going through a divorce (not an excuse) and my life was an utter mess. I made a horrible choice that night and I thank God everday that I didn't injur or kill a fellow human being. At the time the legal limit here in Idaho was .10. I blew a .05 and .07 on serial intoxilizer tests but was charged because I failed the Feild Sobriety Test. Also affecting my impairment was the fact that I was taking prescription anxiolytic medication. I pled guilty, weaned myself off the medication under the direction of my PCP and vowed to never drink alcohol again. In fact the last time I consumed alcohol was December 20, 1995. Of course, I didn't become a nurse until 8 years later but I have to answer yes to application questions that ask if I have ever been convicted of a misdemeanor, or have ever illegally used substances. To date, it has not caused me any trouble in getting licensure (perhaps because my record is clear in all other aspects and it occured in the past). I guess my point is that people (nurses included) make horrible choices at times. The hope is that we learn from these mistakes and it helps us to grow. I feel that the counseling that I entered following my conviction contributes significantly to the Nurse that I am today. I think it would be an aweful day when a conviction for DUI resulted in an automatic lifetime denial of licensure. If a nurse consistantly makes dangerous decisions at work or in there personal life the argument takes on a new light. Thank god I got to learn that one without injuring or killing someone else.
  13. by   vamedic4
    I truly think jim's got this whole intent thing bassackwards. Sure, you don't "intend" to hurt anyone, you may not have "intended" to get intoxicated/drunk/whatever.

    But what you did by getting behind the wheel was "INTEND" to get yourself home - illegally, I might add, by using your motor vehicle while intoxicated. That makes it a crime. And the state Attorney General, as well as the state BON can and should be able to take action against you.

    vamedic4

close