Criminal charges for driving under the influence or as known in Ohio, an operating while under the influence of alcohol (OVI) charge, is serious. Depending on the details of the allegations these charges can result in a fine, potential prison time, installation of an ignition interlock device, mandatory alcohol treatment education and vehicle confiscation.
The potential criminal penalties are sobering, but for those with professional licenses the repercussions may not stop there.
What other repercussions are possible?
Physicians, nurses, dentists, lawyers, and others with a professional license can face additional consequences from their state licensing board. A conviction for a crime like an OUI can lead the board to conduct an official investigation. Depending on their findings, they may choose to sanction the physician. This could include the suspension or revocation of the professional’s license.
This means the conviction could also result in the end of your profession.
Would the state board really come after my professional license?
Absolutely. In one example, the State Medical Board of Ohio suspended a surgeon’s license indefinitely after he was arrested for drunk driving. Even more interestingly, the suspension was the result of a combination of factors. In addition to drunk charges here in Ohio, the board was also aware of a previous offense in a different state.
This highlights how these types of charges follow professionals no matter where they practice.
What are my options?
Those who face allegations of an OUI are wise to take it seriously and start building a defense. Do not accept a deal thinking it will just go away. The state licensing board is likely to find out and your license could be at risk. A strong defense can help reduce the risk of a conviction.