The effects of being convicted of Drinking While Intoxicated (a DWI) are profound no matter who receives it. But professionals are faced with a double-whammy: both receipt of the criminal charge of DWI and the likely loss of their professional license because of it. This means that not only are these professionals likely to face discrimination when seeking future employment because of a criminal conviction, but their current livelihoods might soon be swept out from under them by their licensing board or agency.
Those at risk of loss of license because of DWI include real estate practitioners, teachers, certified public accountants, doctors, nurses, and pilots—among others. These highly-regarded professionals are held to a higher standard than the average member of the public. The mission statements for the various license boards also vary, but many of them state as some element that they are beholden to the public and exist to protect members of the public from the practitioners whose licenses they govern.
Licensing boards place a great deal of importance on the reputation of the profession at large. Keeping this in mind, they tend to operate from the viewpoint that “one bad apple spoils the barrel.” One practitioner with a bad reputation is perceived to reflect poorly on the entire profession, which can create a sticking point that causes people to avoid seeking out the services or care that they need to maintain their health and safety. From the boards’ perspective it is better to excise the individual professional from licensed practice than to permit them to continue in it. That’s what those who get a DWI are facing from their licensure boards.
Of course, the exact impact on a professional’s career trajectory will depend on a number of variables of the sort that arise in any case. How severe the accusations are, and the specifics involved in the charges, may make a difference. As would, for example, whether the driver has a license to drive commercially—in which case they quickly become someone who driving companies won’t take the risk of hiring.
Everyone makes mistakes, and a single driving infraction on one bad day should not serve as sufficient reason to ruin a professional’s life. Call BERTOLINO LLP as soon as you can. The more time we have to create a strong professional license defense, the better the case is likely to go.
We proudly represent licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. If you are facing disciplinary action for any reason, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 to schedule a case evaluation. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.