If you are facing a charge of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) in the State of Colorado, you may be facing numerous penalties. Depending on the number of DUIs you have already had, you may be required to spend time in jail, pay substantial fines, take educational courses or drive with an interlock ignition device on your vehicle. However, if you are a licensed professional, you may face additional challenges regarding your ability to work.
Professions Licensed by the State of Colorado
There are certain professions that require a license in Colorado such as physicians, attorneys, accountants. If you are in a profession that is licensed in Colorado, you will have to report your DUI conviction to the appropriate licensing body. The licensing body could make the decision to suspend or revoke your license to practice. Some of the consequences if you are a professional are listed below:
- Brokers – If you are licensed as a broker under either federal or state securities laws, you can lose your license to be a broker.
- Pilots – If you are a pilot, your license can be revoked or withheld for any driver’s license suspension or DUI conviction.
- Doctors/Dentists – Many doctors and dentists are suspended from their practice until they are “rehabilitated” for either alcohol or drug dependency. For medical professionals, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) may revoke the ability for a medical professional to dispense medications either temporarily or permanently.
- Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) – CPAs are required to report any DUI convictions under the full financial disclosure rules of the federal Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Each different type of professional licensing body will have its own rules and regulations regarding its members and what consequences they will face after receiving a DUI conviction.
Failure to Report
Some licensed professionals attempt to avoid these strict penalties imposed by their licensing bodies by not reporting their DUI convictions. Oftentimes, this results in even more serious penalties. Any physician who fails to inform the medical board in Colorado about their criminal case within 30 days of a conviction faces not only suspension of their license but disciplinary proceedings as well.
Colorado is only one of five U.S. states that operates under an “honor system’ and does not require doctors to undergo a background check. However, if the medical board ever discovers that the physician lied regarding their application to receive a medical license, they may lose their right to practice medicine in the state permanently.
How Will You Get to Work?
If you are a licensed professional, and you can keep your driver’s license, you will still have the challenge of getting to work. If your driving privileges are suspended or revoked for any period of time, you will have to find a way to travel to and from your job while you have a suspended license.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
Many of your rights may be taken away if you are convicted of a DUI, including your right to work as a professional in the State of Colorado. If you are facing a DUI charge, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Moorhead Law Group at 303-447-1400 or online today to discuss your legal options and your rights.