Wednesday, August 29, 2007

DWI and Nursing

The Board's new proposed rules (due to the most recent legislative session) puts into writing what has been informal for a while: the Board does not typically take action unless a nurse has two DWIs. §213.28(5)(a)(ii).Licensure of Persons with Criminal Offenses. This helps for those cases when people have bad judgment. The rationale for the rules is interesting: "DWI offenses involve the use and/or abuse of mood altering drugs while performing a state licensed activity affecting public safety; repeated violations suggest a willingness to continue in reckless and dangerous conduct, or an unwillingness to take appropriate corrective measures, despite previous disciplinary action by the state."

Even though the Board does not prosecute for one DWI, I still advise all health care providers to never drink (even one drink) and drive. The ramifications are too great: You can hurt or kill someone or hurt yourself, criminal prosecution, monetary costs (estimates can be $25,000 to $50,000 for the costs associated with defending the DWI and the probation costs). If you drink and drive with children in your vehicle, you may face felony child endangerment charges which will get the Board interested in your case.

It is too easy to get a taxi or have a designated driver or walk or take public transportation or drink at home, just don't drink and drive.

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