Navigating a DUI Charge: Guidance for Nurses Licensed by the Arizona Board of Nursing

Category: Criminal

If you’re a nurse facing a DUI charge, you’re likely concerned about the impact it could have on your career. The Arizona State Board of Nursing (AZBN) has clear guidelines and disciplinary processes in place to address such situations. Understanding these can help you navigate the legal landscape and take appropriate steps to protect your professional standing.

Reporting Requirements

First and foremost, it’s important to know that nurses in Arizona are required to report any misdemeanor criminal charges that may affect patient safety, or any felony, to the AZBN within 10 working days after the charge is filed. This transparency is crucial and is part of the legal obligations of a nursing license holder.

Potential Disciplinary Actions

The AZBN has a range of disciplinary actions at its disposal, which are used to ensure public safety and uphold the standards of the nursing profession. These include:

  • Revocation: The most severe action, leading to the permanent removal of your nursing license.
  • Suspension: A temporary halt on your ability to practice, which can be for a definite or indefinite period.
  • Probation: You may continue to practice but under specific conditions set by the Board.
  • Decree of Censure: A formal reprimand that doesn’t involve suspension or revocation.
  • Civil Penalty: A fine imposed for each violation of the Nurse Practice Act.
  • Other Actions: These can include voluntary surrender of your license, denial of licensure, remedial education, work restrictions, and practice monitoring.

Factors Influencing the Board’s Decision

The AZBN considers several factors when determining disciplinary action, including the severity of the offense, the circumstances surrounding the DUI charge, and your history with the Board. Each case is evaluated individually, and the Board’s primary concern is the safety and well-being of patients.

Steps to Take

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, here are some proactive steps you can take:

  1. Report the Charge: As required by law, promptly report the charge to the AZBN.
  2. Seek Legal Counsel: Consult with an attorney who specializes in DUI and nursing licensure cases.
  3. Comply with Requirements: Follow any interim measures or restrictions placed by the Board or your employer.
  4. Consider Rehabilitation: If substance abuse is a factor, voluntarily seek rehabilitation or counseling services.
  5. Prepare for the Hearing: Gather evidence and prepare to present your case to the Board if a hearing is scheduled.



A DUI charge doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your nursing career, but it does require immediate and careful attention. By understanding the AZBN’s disciplinary process and taking appropriate action, you can work towards a resolution that protects your license and your future in nursing.

At Davis Miles, we have attorneys who can represent you with the DUI court and with the Arizona Board of Nursing with the goal of minimizing or eliminating any potential damage to your nursing career.

If you are an Arizona nurse charged with a DUI, please call us to schedule a consultation to discuss your specific DUI charges and AZBN disciplinary process. The attorneys at Davis Milescan help you during this challenging time.