California has some of the toughest laws that allow the state to take away a professional license if you are convicted of DUI. Matthew Ruff has been fighting for nurses to prevent a DUI conviction and subsequent disciplinary action from the Board Of Nursing.
If you have been arrested for DUI in California and have a nursing license chances are the License Board will be notified of the arrest. By law when a person holding a professional license is arrested the licensing agency is automatically notified at which time an investigation will commence. The Board of Nursing will contact you for information about the law enforcement contact, it is always in your best interest to cooperate.
Regulations pertaining to the licensing of nurses in the state of California impose sanctions for a failure of the license to cooperate in a Board Investigation. For example, California Code Of Regulations Sections 2504.1 and 2518.8(c) provides that licensees are required to provide the Board lawfully required documents and cooperate in any investigations or risk disciplinary action.
The California Board Of Nursing can take action against an RN, LVN or nursing assistant if they have engaged in conduct relating to their duties. In DUI cases the state will want to see if the person is abusing drugs or alcohol to the extent that it affects their ability to care for their patients.
You may receive a letter requesting information about the incident. What should you do. Cooperate. You are required by law to respond. You should email, fax or mail a response with 30 days. If you ignore the letter the Nursing Board will presume you have something bigger to hide and will react more aggressively than if you simply respond and acknowledge the arrest, while at the same time asserting you have not been found guilty or adjudicated by any Court. At the end of the day an arrest is simply an accusation and in this country you are presumed innocent until the contrary is proven in a Court of law.
Here is a sample letter of the information you should provide:
(Your name, address and phone number)
California Board of Nursing
To Whom it may concern,
I was arrested on (give the date) by the (give the law enforcement agency, CHP, Los Angeles Sheriff, etc). I was given a Court date of ( provide the date). I have hired an attorney Matthew Ruff to represent me. His number is 310-527-4100.
At this time I am informed no official charges have been filed against me. I intend to cooperate fully with your investigation.
Should you require any additional information feel free to contact me.
(Sign your name here)