Nursing Student makes a very stupid decision and recieved a DUI...advice...?


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diane227, LPN, RN

1,941 Posts

Specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg. Has 32 years experience.

First of all you have to know exactly what is going to be on your record and if it will be considered a felony or not. If it is not a felony (and usually it will not be with first offense if no one is harmed) then I personally would not disclose this to ANYONE at the school unless you have a mandatory alcohol course that you have to take that will interfere with your class time. Second of all, you need to speak with your attorney to see how this is viewed on your criminal record for the future. In some states, a DUI conviction stays on your record forever, even if the judge allowed you to plea to a lesser offense like reckless driving. In my state, Washington, there are two processes. The state process for your drivers license and the court process. Even in court if they plea you down to a lesser charge, the state has you down as having had a DUI. This has happened to a friend of mine. She cannot even visit in Canada now due to this conviction, which was not at a felony level.

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

153 Articles; 21,231 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

We need to be very careful here everyone.

To the OP: We do not and can not offer/provide legal advice. Please contact a lawyer.


2 Posts

I received a dui a year ago (1st offense ever in my life, I have never been pulled over for anything) and I'm in a nursing program right now. My advisor told me that it can be difficult to place and/or guarantee clinical placement. I'm taking my chances. I spoke with my lawyer and I can get it expunged but I have to wait one more year. I won't be done with school for another year. I know that I will have to disclose this to the BRN even if it is expunged. My question is, has any one been denied a clinical placement in Southern California for a 1st-time dui?

This is just horrible, I do not have a problem with alcohol and i have fulfilled everything the court has asked of me. I felt fine to drive (luckily and thank God I wasn't driving wrecklessly or hit any one). I was driving really late at night and when I was pulled over. I waited 4 hours with out a drink and noticed it was getting late and felt that I had done everything right. I know a dui is frowned upon, I just wish there was some sort of forgiveness. I pray every day and go to church every Sunday. Luckily I don't have a problem with alcohol. Which isn't an excuse. This was karma, I never let my boyfriend, friends, or family drink and drive, I should have taken my advice. I really thought I was ok. When the officer asked me to blow, i was soooo confidant that I was ok, but to my dismay I was over .08. Such a bummer. I've learned a lot after attending classes, required aa meetings, and sitting in on a MADD panel (I balled my eyes out). I'm the official designated driver now and I love it. I never want any one to go through what I went through. It's not worth it. Best advice, I can give always keep $40 hidden in your wallet for a taxi or be sure to plan your evening in advance to prevent from having to drink and drive. Even if you have one drink, you can still get a dui. I had people in my class with a .02 and a .06, you just never know and just DON'T DRINK A SIP of ALCOHOL and attempt to DRIVE, it's not worth it.


4 Posts

I received a DUI in 2008 and have been worried sick about it since Jan. I never thought a DUI could be a problem since I got it when I was teaching school and was able to renew my license with no problem. I sent in my app to the board of nursing with my statement and all court documents. I stated the facts about how I messed up and will never do it again. Just found out the other day that it had been signed off on and won't be a problem!!!!! Don't despair! It might be OK!!!


1 Post

Hi lotus thank you for posting. I am in the same situation you are/were. Do you have any updates? I assume you have stopped updating because you are longer persuing nursing. All posts I have seen about this same predicament are incomplete with no conclusion, it is frightening me. Anyone else who has gone through the same thing and have gotten their license, please post? Thank you


12 Posts

Hello all, I'm sorry for the long hiatus from this thread. It was a very busy and stressful time getting through the latter half of school. Suffered through some personal hardships (financial, loss of a long standing family house and mid program relocation, and loss of a family member in my home who was on hospice for biliary duct cancer just as we were covering oncology material in school, ironic huh? But, I digress. Well, It all worked out!!! I was upfront with my school and as you can see from my avatar I GRADUATED! Better still, I applied to the BRN of California and with support from my school, family and friends and getting through some red tape and quite some time waiting; I finally was given the green light to take my NCLEX!!!! This is where I'm at now reviewing for my boards and feeling blessed that it all worked out. This is some of my back ground in regards to the legal troubles I had: I had a 0.8 BAC, was very cooperative with the officers on that night, had NO prior problems with the law and hired a lawyer specializing in those types of cases to help me through it. He assisted in getting my d.u.i reduced to "reckless driving". I believe my prior history and the circumstances around the night the indecent happened. My school was understanding and my instructors supported me. Now, after all this, all the work to stay in school and graduate I was faced with D-day; BRN application time! Will I be allowed to take my boards? I wasn't sure. I had to submit a lot more paperwork (arrest record, court transcripts, letters of recommendation, proof that I complied with all court appointed punishments and fines, and a hand written letter of what had happened that night). Now, I could have had just said I had reckless driving, that was the first impulse I had since that's all that showed up on my record now; the d.u.i was dismissed. But, I figured I needed to be completely honest and divulge everything from start to finish in my letter to the board. I'm glad I did! The wait time was approximately 4.5 months from application to the final decision from the board, but in the end they gave me the privilege to take my exam!! Well, that's it. Sorry for the long winded response, but I felt compelled to share my story since you all showed interest and replied to my thread. If there's anything else that anyone would like to ask, just go ahead ahead and reply. Thank you

Congrats Lotus1,

hope you do well on exams and get a great newgrad position somewhere soon :)


12 Posts

@Lifeinthefields, Thank you! I got my NCLEX results back 4 days after taking it and I passed! Registered now and looking for employment. Regardless of what people say about finding work being harder than it was before, the job hunt is a welcomed task for me, from where I was at and where I am at now, I feel great. Good luck to all those in school still, newly graduated, and seasoned nurses who see this


153 Posts

" to all of the posters who replied and insinuated that she had a problem..shame on you! "

no, don't be ashamed. it's a valid question to raise. as i recall, one screening question for alcoholism is, 'has alcohol ever caused problems in your life?'


1 Post

Hi I recently got stuck in the same situation as you. I was wondering where did you finish your nursing school? Did you have problems getting accepted into clinical rotations?

I got into west coast university and they said there was no way I can go to school if i am put on probation during nursing. Please let me know if you have any advice.

How much is a lawyer? Is it nessesary to get one or should i just talk to the DA and reason with them the best way possible?


12 Posts

I would rather not state the school I attended. As for rotations, it was hit and miss during semester registering. I had to look at the hospital sites that were offered with each instructor, it wasn't ideal (for my educational purposes), but I chose the sections/instructors that were at more "forgiving" hospitals. Lawyers come in all different price ranges (mine was around $1,800). For me to say that having one is "necessary" is beyond my scope of expertise, but I will say that I believe having one helped me, and I think contacting a lawyer is a wise choice. I wish you the best with your situation and I wish you the best! Keep the thread updated as to how your story unfolds, if you wish!