Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious matter, and nurses who have been arrested for or convicted of DWI in the past may not realize that their nursing licenses may be at risk. The case of a Texas registered nurse with multiple DWI arrests illustrates how state nursing boards around the country may use nurses' previous DWIs when conducting licensing evaluations.
In November 2019, Adeshina Adedapo was arrested in Minnesota for driving while impaired and was charged with careless driving. Then, in December 2021, she was arrested in Texas and charged with DWI. The Texas Nursing Commission requested a substance abuse evaluation from Adedapo, but she did not submit one. In April 2023, the commission denied Adedapo's registered nurse license.
State Nursing Boards May Deny a License Based on Multiple Previous DWIs
In most cases, a single DWI will not jeopardize a nurse's license. Multiple DWIs, however, are more problematic. State nursing boards have a duty to protect the public, and multiple DWIs by a nurse may indicate that the nurse is unprofessional and has a substance abuse problem, which can affect their ability to safely and skillfully perform their job.
The Texas Nursing Commission says that, when evaluating a nurse's license, multiple DWI arrests are relevant to nurses' fitness to safely and effectively perform their jobs and may justify license suspension or revocation.
Similarly, in California, the Board of Registered Nursing may view multiple DWI convictions as a pattern of unprofessional behavior and/or a substance abuse problem that prevents the nurse from being safe and effective in their job. This is also the case in Virginia.
In Massachusetts, multiple DWI offenses increase the likelihood that a nurse's license will be suspended or revoked by the Board of Registration in Nursing.
Nurses' Failure to Report DWI Incidents Can Negatively Affect Their License Evaluations
The requirements for nurses to report their DWI arrests and convictions to state licensing boards vary from state to state. Failure to report this information can affect the outcome of a board's license evaluation.
For example, Massachusetts nurses must promptly notify the board about DWI convictions but need not for DWI arrests. Arizona nurses must report to the Arizona State Board of Nursing when they are charged with a DWI. Louisiana requires nurses to report any DWI conviction to the Louisiana State Board of Nursing, even if the nurse is convicted in another state.
Texas nurses are not required to report DWI arrests unless the DWI is classified as a felony under Texas law, but Texas nurses must report all DWI convictions to the board.
In California, the state board automatically receives notification upon a nurse's DWI arrest, and nurses must report their DWI convictions within 30 days. When evaluating a nurse's license, California looks very favorably upon nurses who self-report DWI arrests and convictions.
The Experienced License Defense Team at The Lento Law Firm Can Help Nurses Whose Licenses are in Jeopardy Because of Previous DWIs
The skilled team at The Lento Law Firm have years of experience successfully representing nurses around the country in front of state licensing boards. The Lento Law Firm and his Professional License Defense Team can vigorously defend nurses whose licenses are in jeopardy because of previous DWI arrests and convictions and help them protect their jobs. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686, or submit a confidential online consultation form.