Can a DWI Affect a Medical License in New York?

Medical professionals are held to a very high standard because they are responsible for taking care of others. Despite this, they are still human and can make bad decisions. If a medical professional in New York is arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI), they are not just facing a criminal charge. Being charged with a DWI in the state of New York can also impact your medical license at the discretion of the Office of Professional Medical Conduct. Any medical professional charged with a DWI should seek immediate legal counsel to ensure the safety of their medical license.

What Do I Do After Being Charged?

It is important to know that if you are a medical professional charged with a DWI, you must not lie about it. It is common that medical professionals are faced with the question: “Have you been found guilty of a crime?” Since  DWI is a crime, New York State requires you to answer yes to the question. If you are to answer “no,” you have then lied on an application, which is also taken very seriously in the medical community.

It is also significant to note that if you have only been issued a violation, it is not a crime. Therefore, you may answer that you have not been convicted of a crime. Violations are not considered to be unprofessional conduct.

If you plead guilty to a criminal charge, you will receive a letter from the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) or the Office of Professional Discipline (OPD). The disciplinary offices may then investigate the wrongdoing and discipline you depending on the circumstances surrounding your charges.

Consequences by the OPMC

The level to which an individual is punished by the OPMC may vary depending on if it is their first DWI charge or not. The most common punishment for medical professionals who receive a DWI is a Censure and Reprimand. This may also come with a fine. Depending on the amount of alcohol in your system, the OPMC may require you to attend substance abuse therapy. For repeat offenders, the consequences may worsen. In addition to this, your liability insurance policy may increase greatly and continue to do so for a period of time. If a substance abuse problem is present, the OPMC may investigate further and possibly revoke your license.

Outside of initial consequences, there may also be long term consequences to your actions by receiving a DWI as a medical professional. The charge will follow your record, as you are required to inform hospitals, insurance companies, and other professional entities. This may prevent you from being hired to practice medicine in the future.

Contact our Firm

If you are a healthcare professional that has been charged with a DWI and wish to consult a skilled attorney, contact Walker Medical Law today.

When a medical professional is accused of misconduct, it is essential that they retain strong legal representation. If you require a medical law attorney for your legal matters, call Paul E. Walker, an experienced New York City OPMC & OPD Lawyer. Please contact the Walker Medical Law firm to set up a free initial consultation.