As a nurse, if you are facing first-time charges for driving while intoxicated, you may be deeply worried about how a conviction might impact your life and career.
In Texas, the Board of Nursing may suspend or revoke your license if it finds you have committed a criminal offense, including a DWI. Additionally, a DWI conviction may result in state penalties ranging from steep fines, drivers’ license suspension or revocation, and time in jail.
What are the penalties for a first-time DWI?
Many first-time DWIs are Class B misdemeanors. However, certain aggravating circumstances may increase the penalties for driving while intoxicated.
If officers find that you were driving with a BAC over a certain limit or you were traveling with an open container, you may face Class A misdemeanor charges. If you were driving with a child passenger at the time, even a first-time DWI may rise to the level of a felony, which may have permanent consequences for both your driver’s license and your nursing license.
How might a DWI impact your nursing career?
Because nurses have a high duty of care toward their patients, a DWI may result in disciplinary action by the Texas Board of Nurses even if you face a misdemeanor rather than a felony conviction.
Does a DWI charge automatically mean your job in nursing is over?
While a first-time DWI charge may not mean that you automatically lose your license, you may have to face a disciplinary hearing from the BON after receiving a conviction.
If you are facing charges that may impact your career, you may be able to minimize the impact of a potential conviction by preparing a strong defense.