Kansas Medical Professionals: A DUI Could Threaten Your Career

Alcohol abuse is a serious problem that can affect anyone, including medical professionals (including doctors, nurses, chiropractors, massage therapist, etc.). However, unlike members of the general community, medical professionals have even more at stake: they risk losing their license. It only takes one incidence for the Kansas Board of Healing Arts to open an investigation. The risks associated with driving under the influence need to be of particular concern and you need to be aware of how a DUI could impact your professional license.

A DUI is a costly mistake. A DUI can costs thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees to defend. Professionally, a DUI comes with severe penalties than can interfere with a medical licensee’s ability to practice. In Kansas, the penalties for DUI are as follows:

1st DUI Conviction—Class B Misdemeanor

  • Jail time: 48 hours to 6 months
  • Fines: $750 to $1,000
  • Mandatory Alcohol Evaluation and Counseling
  • Driver’s license suspension: 30 day to 1 year followed by ignition interlock

2nd DUI Conviction—Class A Misdemeanor

  • Jail time: 90 days to 1 year
  • Fines: $1,250 to $1,750
  • Mandatory Alcohol Evaluation and Counseling
  • Driver’s license suspension: 1 year followed by ignition interlock

Some medical professionals are not aware that in Kansas, a second DUI is considered a Class A misdemeanor. Pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, conviction of a crime of this severity is grounds for discipline and possibly the revocation of a medical license. The Board’s authority also allows it to impose fines on its own, in addition to those fines ordered by the court.  Even a first DUI can be deemed “unprofessional conduct” by some licensing boards, depending upon the surrounding circumstances. Conduct that is considered unprofessional can lead to disciplinary action, including suspension or loss of license.

If you are charged with a DUI, you need to seek the counsel of a professional license defense attorney right away.  Even a seasoned criminal defense attorney may recommend a course of action that can unknowingly jeopardize a medical professional’s license.

Remember a DUI is completely avoidable. If you have been drinking, always air on the side of caution and take a cab or public transportation. Or if you are planning on socializing with alcohol, consider having a designated driver who can ensure you make it home safely. If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, you need to get help. Addiction is a serious ailment that if not treated, can lead to other problems at the workplace and may ultimately interfere with patient care.

If you are a medical professional who has been charged with driving under the influence or is struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction, don’t put your career at risk.  Contact the Sanger Law Offices at 785-979-4353 for a free and completely confidential consultation. The Sanger Law Office has experience defending medical professionals from the investigation to the hearing before the Kansas Board of Healing Arts. Do not risk your license further by failing to seek knowledgeable counsel. Trust the Sanger Law Office to aggressively defend you and fight for your medical license.