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Will a DUI Affect My Professional License?

Most professional license-holders in Pennsylvania are required to report any misdemeanor and felony convictions to their professional licensing board. Professional license holders in some occupations must report any criminal charge they face, including DUI’s. Some occupations only require license holders to report convictions to their governing board, and some do not require license holders to report anything at all. In some instances, professional license-holders are only required to report the criminal conviction when they attempt to renew their license.

In addition to the criminal penalties that may include fines, court costs, jail time, and suspension of your driver’s license, a DUI conviction could result in professional disciplinary action such as suspension or revocation of your professional license, depending upon such factors as your history of offenses and the nature of the particular offense. If the DUI charge results in a felony conviction, your professional license may be subject to revocation or suspension.

In the case of physicians in Pennsylvania, for example, a DUI conviction could result in a hearing in which your character and fitness to practice medicine will be evaluated. You must report a DUI conviction or any criminal charge, or face losing your license to practice medicine. Similarly, lawyers are required to report DUI convictions to the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Failure to disclose a conviction, could result in the loss of the license to practice law.

In contrast, dentists are only required to report DUI convictions on a license renewal application. If you are a first-time applicant, you are also required to disclose this information on the initial license application. Penalties and consequences vary as every application and license is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

In the case of pharmacists, these licensed professionals, if convicted of a DUI in the State of Pennsylvania, must report the conviction to the Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy. The Board’s Professional Compliance Office evaluates each DUI conviction each case is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Penalties and consequences are determined by the Professional Compliance Office. Pharmacists in danger of losing their licenses as a result of alcohol addiction may have additional options, including the Professional Health Monitoring Program (PHMP), which offers treatment and monitoring options for pharmacists coping with substance abuse problems. Although this program has strict requirements, it often allows those dealing with alcohol abuse to protect their licenses so long as they adhere to the conditions of the treatment program, which usually lasts for three years. The use of PHMP is not limited to pharmacists. In fact, most licensed professionals in Pennsylvania may avail themselves of the benefits PHMP offers.

One final example of an impact of a DUI conviction on professional licensure is that of Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders (including truck drivers, bus drivers, taxi drivers). In addition to stricter requirements imposed on these motorists (.04 % BAC), CDL holders will face a one-year CDL disqualification. If the DUI offense occurred while operating a commercial vehicle, you will face an additional year loss of your CDL. A CDL driver operating a commercial vehicle, carrying hazardous chemicals faces a three-year suspension. If you have a second DUI conviction, your CDL will be banned for life. However, admission into the ARD program has no effect on your CDL being disqualified.

The attorneys at Tanner Law Offices can assist you or your loved ones in the process of defending against criminal charges and in protecting your rights. Please contact our office at 717-836-0471 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.