1. A Conviction for OWI/OWVI Is a Misdemeanor That Must Be Reported to LARA
As a licensed health professional, you must report any criminal conviction to the Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs (LARA) within 30 days of your conviction. This even includes convictions for traffic misdemeanors like Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) and Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI). It is important to know that a conviction date is the date that a guilty verdict is returned after a trial or the date that a guilty plea is entered. In drunk driving cases, the conviction date typically happens weeks before the sentencing date. Your failure to report a conviction within 30 days could lead to severe professional license sanctions.
2. The Consequences of Refusing a Breath Test or Blood Test
As part of the officer’s investigation, you will likely be offered a roadside preliminary breath test (PBT) if you are suspected of drunk driving. Refusing this roadside breath test would result in only a civil infraction and a fine. However, if you refuse a breath or blood test after you have been arrested, you could face much more drastic consequences. A post-arrest refusal to take a chemical test (breath or blood) of the officer’s choosing could lead to an automatic 1-year suspension of all of your driving privileges if you fail to request an implied consent hearing within 14 days. This automatic suspension can still happen even when the underlying drunk driving charge has been dismissed.
3. A Conviction for OWI/OWVI Could Result in a Referral to HPRP
As a licensed health professional, if you were to be convicted of OWI or OWVI, it could result in your referral to the Heath Professional Recovery Program (HPRP). This could result in a monitoring agreement that could require frequent drug testing, substance abuse treatment, and attendance at support groups for a period of years.
If you are a health professional arrested for drunk or drugged driving, be sure to protect your license and your livelihood by calling the Chapman Law Group right away.