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  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

Can a DWI affect my medical license?

Professionals who are charged with DWI not only face the consequences imposed by criminal law and the penal code they also face possible sanction or revocation of their professional licenses. Professional organization who control those licenses can make their own rules that require disclosure of convictions or even mere arrests. So while you are innocent until proven guilty under the penal code and the U.S. and Texas Constitution's you may be suspended without conviction by professional boards or organizations. Even if you take a deferred adjudication where the case is eventually dismissed. Under the Texas Medical Act a deferred adjudication could be grounds for disciplinary action. There is no law that requires you to disclose an arrest to your supervisor at Autozone but you do have to disclose an arrest to the Texas Medical Board.

A DWI is likely to be investigated by the Texas Medical Board to determine if the DWI relates to the doctor's practice of medicine. This is based on the Texas Medical Act which provides that it is a violation in the following circumstances:

"commission of the following violations of federal and state laws whether or not there is a complaint, indictment, or conviction:

(i) any felony;

(ii) any offense in which assault or battery, or the attempt of either is an essential element;

(iii) any criminal violation of the Medical Practice Act or other statutes regulating or pertaining to the practice of medicine;

(iv) any criminal violation of statutes regulating other professions in the healing arts that the licensee is licensed in;

(v) any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude as defined by paragraph (6) of this section;

(vi) bribery or corrupt influence;

(vii) burglary;

(viii) child molestation;

(ix) kidnapping or false imprisonment;

(x) obstruction of governmental operations;

(xi) public indecency; and

(xii) substance abuse or substance diversion."

It also may be grounds for disciplinary action if the board determines that the doctor " . . . is unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety to patients because of . . . drunkenness" or the board determines that the doctor "uses alcohol or drugs in an intemperate manner that, in the board's opinion, could endanger a patient's life"

If you've been charged with a DWI in Montgomery County, Conroe, or the Woodlands you need to hire an experienced attorney to assist you. You will be fighting two battles both of which are extremely important to your future.

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