A DUI arrest is a serious matter for anyone. You have court dates piling up and might be working with an attorney who specializes in DUI cases. The first thing that might come to mind is to keep your arrest quiet, but in Illinois, if you are a licensed health care professional, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) has specific requirements and deadlines for self-reporting.
Under the Medical Practice Act of 1987 (225 ILCS 60/1 et seq .), the IDFPR may “revoke, suspend, place on probation, reprimand, refuse to issue or renew, or take any other disciplinary or non-disciplinary action as the Department may deem proper” against any health care professional it licenses, including but not limited to fines of $10,000 or more (225 ILCS 60/22) for violations of the Medical Practice Act. Violations that may result in adverse action include any dishonorable, unethical or unprofessional conduct and, more specifically, the excessive use of alcohol, which the Department determines may render a health care professional unable to practice with the “reasonable judgment, skill, or safety” required to protect the public (225 ILCS 60/22). However, the IDFPR can also discipline a licensee for failing to report adverse actions. The Nurse Practice Act (225 ILCS 65) has similar disciplinary authorization for DUIs and for failing to report a DUI.
Physicians, chiropractors, physician assistants and nurses among other licensed professionals are required to report adverse actions, including DUI convictions to the IDFPR. Failure to report in and of itself can result in a serious consequence to the licensee such as a public disciplinary action.
The consequences of losing your professional license, or even being placed on probation, can be devasting. Adverse actions such as these may ultimately result in loss of employment, difficulty finding employment in the future, and the inability to obtain or renew a license in another state.
If you are convicted of a DUI, there are many things that you can do to improve your situation. You must report your DUI, but before you report, you should contact an attorney who specializes in professional licensing, even if you have a DUI attorney. Having an experienced IDFPR defense attorney prepare your report can help prevent probation, suspension or even a revoked license, and can greatly reduce the collateral consequences resulting from a disciplinary action.
If you have already received notice of the IDFPR’s plan to take adverse action based on your conviction, it is important to respond quickly and correctly. It is not too late to retain counsel to assist you in this matter.
For additional information regarding self-reporting, or for assistance with any self-reporting repercussions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at Crick Walanka Law Group.