DUI as an RN

  1. So I am an RN in California and was arrested for DUI back in February.

    A few weeks after I received a notice from the BRN attempting to sell me into the "diversion program", but I did not fall for that nonsense. I do not have an alcohol or drug/substance problem but unfortunately it was just one bad decision that has caused a huge burden in my life.

    Through my health insurance, I decided to do an outpatient drug & substance program, thinking it would be a good way to cover my ass. I did complete the class, received a completion letter,, had a couple drug screenings completed and hopefully can use it in my case against the BRN if they decide to follow suit.

    I was charged a misdeamonor offense of DUI OVER 0.08% and was asked to pay a fine & do a bunch of classes and community service.

    Now in terms of my RN licensure, when should I let the BRN know of my conviction? My license was renewed a couple months ago while I was awaiting my court date... I'm not sure what I should do at this point.

    What would the process be like once the BRN is notified of the conviction?

    Also do I need to inform my employer?

    Please advise!!
    Last edit by Joshua126 on Sep 13
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    About Joshua126

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 26; Likes: 6

    13 Comments

  3. by   Here.I.Stand
    I'd be more concerned about the BON than your employer. Ignoring their notice won't make it go away... especially now that you have a conviction. And yes you need to disclose. They found out about your arrest, no? Why would they not find out about your conviction? And you ignoring the BON on top of it? It looks even worse.
    Last edit by Here.I.Stand on Sep 13
  4. by   Joshua126
    No where did I say I ignored the BON. And I was just asking if I need to notify them even when they already probably know.
  5. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from Joshua126
    No where did I say I ignored the BON. And I was just asking if I need to notify them even when they already probably know.
    I did work with a nurse who had her license revoked after receiving a DUI in California, but it was more about her failing to respond to the BON than the DUI, itself. She was an LVN, so different board in CA, too ... If I could remember her last name, I'd look it up and tell you exactly what it said.
    Hopefully someone with more personal, situation specific information will come along. You absolute BEST course would probably be to seek legal advice from someone who specializes in BON issues, though. From what I've seen, they are not receptive to the "one time mistake" defense. Hope for the best, but expect a rough road ahead.
  6. by   Joshua126
    Thank you
  7. by   beekee
    You should consult with an attorney well versed in licensing issues. Once you decline the diversion program, you are referred to the enforcement division for investigation and possible discipline. It's not unusual for the BRN to impose discipline for one DUI conviction. I do not know when you are required to disclose the conviction; an attorney can help you wade through this mess.
  8. by   AloeBlox
    It depends on a lot on what happened. ....what was your bac....any car accidents?....any kids ? .....I had one w litle less than half the legal limit...just received a fine.....you need to notify them within 30 days of conviction......send personal letter on what happened. ....some letters of character from Co workers and hope for just a fine...good luck ...feel free to message me
  9. by   Joshua126
    Thank you
  10. by   Nurse Beth
    I'm also from CA. When dealing with the BRN it's highly important to respond promptly to all communications, demonstrate remorse and show rehabilitation. Read How to Write a Letter to the BRN

    You will soon be asked to provide a plethora of certified documents and detailed explanation. Saying that you do not have a drinking problem may be seen as not taking responsibility. Taking responsibility means saying you made a serious mistake, and you realize that others could have been hurt due to your reckless behavior.

    Again, strong evidence of rehabilitation is important, including letters testifying to your character and change in behavior. The point is to show that, due to rehabilitation, you would never again choose to drive while intoxicated.

    According to the CA Code of Regulations, professional conduct requires that you report a conviction within 30 days. I would get an attorney, as other posters said, but be sure and find one with experience in nursing licensure. Hope this helps. Best wishes.
  11. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from Joshua126
    So I am an RN in California and was arrested for DUI back in February.

    A few weeks after I received a notice from the BRN attempting to sell me into the "diversion program", but I did not fall for that nonsense. I do not have an alcohol or drug/substance problem but unfortunately it was just one bad decision that has caused a huge burden in my life.

    Through my health insurance, I decided to do an outpatient drug & substance program, thinking it would be a good way to cover my ass. I did complete the class, received a completion letter,, had a couple drug screenings completed and hopefully can use it in my case against the BRN if they decide to follow suit.

    When you say you didn't "fall for that nonsense," what does that mean in terms of how you responded to the BRN?

    The BRN also may not accept your determination that you, not they, can decide what the appropriate response to your mistake is (taking the class). As many nurses have found to their detriment, the BRNs do not see helping nurses out to be their primary mission; rather, "protecting the public" is where their priorities lie.

    Hopefully, with the help of an attorney, you can put this behind you with minimal (or no) restrictions or other problems with your license. Good luck.
  12. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    I'm not from California but I'm a Nurse that got a DUI. I self reported this fact immediately to the BON here in Pennsylvania and was offered the choice of joining a "voluntary" program or facing disciplinary action from the BON. I choose the program and it is a hideous exercise in punitive nonsense and 12 step Voodoo. However, when I'm done with jumping through the considerable hoops that I have to deal with my nursing license will remain "clean" with no record of any problems with it. I'm in a nurse support group with a peer who had the exact same circumstances me. She choose to ignore the giant pile of paperwork from the BON and wanted no part of the voluntary program as the conditions are very harsh. After refusing the "voluntary" program she was faced with a choice. She could either face an action by the BON to revoke her license or she could be part of the "disciplinary" program which has pretty much the same exact conditions but she will always have a public, disciplinary action on her license whose details would be viewable by all on the internet. Faced with the choice of losing her livelihood or dealing with the public shame and hoops of course she joined the disciplinary program. It was a first time DUI for me and all the charges were dropped. It doesn't matter as the BON doesn't have standard of proof to discipline nurses as the state does to convict people charged with a crime. Get a lawyer who deals with you BON as the principal part of his or her practice and follow their advice. Good luck to you!!!
  13. by   Joshua126
    Thank you
  14. by   Purdue Nurse
    It's not nonsense you have to follows the rules to keep your license. My story is on my applying for initial nursing license, I had previous DUI many years in the past in another state. I contacted the BON this was in Indiana I was directed to ISNAP, their impaired nursing program. I explained my situation, I was told to come to next board meeting in Indianapolis. When I got there the group with similar issues was taken out of main room to a private venue and the program was explained. Basically, you agree to by randomly monitored for a year in exchange for an unencumbered license. Unencumbered is the key word, you draw out your own narcotics. Anyway, it is for a year dial a number and it's either pee in the cup day or it's not. You get a completion letter at the end and it goes away. The only person I was obligated to inform was my direct manager, not the corporation, hospital, or anyone else. To complete my comment, there was one guy there that was adamant he was not going to participate in the program and wanted to go before the board. The person in charge basically wished him luck in his next career. Not participating is not an option. Oh, this was over 15 years ago and I have unencumbered licenses in two states.

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