As a medical professional, you carry heavy responsibilities and an expectation to maintain a high standard of care for others. Your actions, inside and outside of work, will always be under scrutiny. However, wrong decisions, such as driving while intoxicated (DWI), would be more than a personal setback. It could also hurt your professional career.
The implications of a DWI conviction
No matter how good of a driver a person believes they are, driving while intoxicated is never a good idea. However, doctors and other professionals are held to much higher standards. Besides facing criminal penalties in Minnesota, a DWI conviction could prevent you from practicing medicine.
As a professional, you have an obligation to self-report a criminal conviction to the licensing board. If this is your first DWI conviction, it may not necessarily mean the revocation of your license. Instead, the licensing board may subject you to disciplinary action.
However, because the industry generally frowns upon using drugs and alcohol, the medical licensing board may view your actions as reckless behavior that disregards public health and safety. Aggravating factors such as causing injury or death of others, damaging property or an abnormally high blood-alcohol content (BAC) may push the board to question your ability to practice medicine.
Failing to self-report is not an option as the board may eventually find out on their own. Additionally, it may lead to harsher punishments.
Should you hire an attorney?
The journey to obtain your professional license undoubtedly took many years, totaling a significant portion of your life. It is the fruit of your hard work and dedication. The thought of losing your ability to practice because of a momentary lapse in judgment can be very unsettling.
When the career and reputation you’ve built are handing in the balance, having the support of a professional license defense attorney can be invaluable. You may be better able to safeguard your professional reputation with their expertise and experience.