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Colorado Criminal Lawyer Series – Will I Lose My Nursing License In Colorado If I Get A DUI?

By H. Michael Steinberg – Colorado Criminal Defense Of DUI – DWAI – DUID – Cases

Colorado Criminal Lawyer Series - Will I Lose My Nursing License In Colorado If Get A DUI?

Colorado Criminal Lawyer Series – Will I Lose My Nursing License In Colorado If Get A DUI?

Nurses and DUIs in Colorado – Email the author at [email protected]

Colorado Criminal Lawyer Series – Will I Lose My Nursing License In Colorado If I Get A DUI? The simple answer is probably not. The control and supervision of Colorado’s nursing licenses falls to Colorado’s Nursing Board under DORA – (Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies )

While the laws (see below – section i) leave open the possibility that extreme substance abuse could lead to the loss of one’s nursing license – DUI is not an automatic bar to obtaining or maintaining a Colorado nursing license.

Here is the ENTIRE Law As Regards – Grounds For Nurses Discipline Law (important sections are highlighted)

12-38-117. Grounds for Discipline.

(1) “Grounds for discipline,” as used in this article, means any action by any person who:

(a) Has procured or attempted to procure a license by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, misleading omission, or material misstatement of fact;

(b) (I) Has been convicted of a felony or any crime that would constitute a violation of this article.

(II) (A) For purposes of this paragraph (b), “conviction” includes the entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or the imposition of a deferred sentence.

(B) A certified copy of the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction of such conviction or plea shall be prima facie evidence of such conviction.

(c) Has willfully or negligently acted in a manner inconsistent with the health or safety of persons under his care;

(d) Has had a license to practice nursing or any other health care occupation suspended or revoked in any jurisdiction. A certified copy of the order of suspension or revocation shall be prima facie evidence of such suspension or revocation.

(e) Has violated any provision of this article or has aided or knowingly permitted any person to violate any provision of this article;

(f) Has negligently or willfully practiced nursing in a manner which fails to meet generally accepted standards for such nursing practice;

(g) Has negligently or willfully violated any order, rule, or regulation of the board pertaining to nursing practice or licensure;

(h) Has falsified or in a negligent manner made incorrect entries or failed to make essential entries on patient records;

(i) Excessively uses or abuses alcohol, habit-forming drugs, controlled substances, as defined in section 18-18-102 (5), C.R.S., or other drugs having similar effects,

… or is diverting controlled substances, as defined in section 18-18-102 (5), C.R.S., or other drugs having similar effects from the licensee’s place of employment;

…except that the board has the discretion not to discipline the licensee if such licensee is participating in good faith in a program approved by the board designed to end such excessive use or abuse;

(j) Has a physical or mental disability which renders him unable to practice nursing with reasonable skill and safety to the patients and which may endanger the health or safety of persons under his care;

(k) Has violated the confidentiality of information or knowledge as prescribed by law concerning any patient;

[HMS – This is a catchall that applies to the entire Colorado Criminal Code – Title 18 – but note – the crime has to relate to the nurse’s profession]

(l) Has engaged in any conduct which would constitute a crime as defined in title 18, C.R.S., and which conduct relates to such person’s employment as a practical or professional nurse. In conjunction with any disciplinary proceeding pertaining to this paragraph (l), the board shall be governed by the provisions of section 24-5-101, C.R.S.

[HMS Here is the excerpt – Section 24-5-101 CRS – note that there are exceptions for nurses who work with particular patients – such as certain “vulnerable populations”

24-5-101. Effect of criminal conviction on employment rights.

(1) (a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (1), the fact that a person has been convicted of a felony or other offense involving moral turpitude shall not, in and of itself, prevent the person from applying for and obtaining public employment or from applying for and receiving a license, certification, permit, or registration required by the laws of this state to follow any business, occupation, or profession.

(b) This subsection (1) shall not apply to:

(I) The offices and convictions described in section 4 of article XII of the state constitution;

(II) The certification and revocation of certification of peace officers as provided in section 24-31-305;

(III) The employment of personnel in positions involving direct contact with vulnerable persons as specified in section 27-1-110, C.R.S.;

(IV) The licensure or authorization of educators prohibited pursuant to section 22-60.5-107 (2) or (2.5), C.R.S.;

(V) The employment of persons in public or private correctional facilities pursuant to the provisions of sections 17- 1-109.5 and 17-1-202 (1) (a) (I) and (1.5), C.R.S., and the employment of persons in public or private juvenile facilities pursuant to the provisions of sections 19-2-403.3 and 19-2-410 (4), C.R.S.; and

(VI) The employment of persons by the public employees’ retirement association created pursuant to section 24-51- 201 who, upon the commencement of that employment, will have access to association investment information, association assets, or financial, demographic, or other information relating to association members or beneficiaries.

(2) Whenever any state or local agency is required to make a finding that an applicant for a license, certification, permit, or registration is a person of good moral character as a condition to the issuance thereof, the fact that such applicant has, at some time prior thereto, been convicted of a felony or other offense involving moral turpitude, and pertinent circumstances connected with such conviction, shall be given consideration in determining whether, in fact, the applicant is a person of good moral character at the time of the application.

…The intent of this section is to expand employment opportunities for persons who, notwithstanding that fact of conviction of an offense, have been rehabilitated and are ready to accept the responsibilities of a law-abiding and productive member of society.

[HMS Conclusion Of Colorado Nurse Discipline Section – 12-38-117. Grounds For Discipline]

(m) (I) Has violated abuse of health insurance pursuant to section 18-13-119, C.R.S.; or

(II) Has advertised through newspapers, magazines, circulars, direct mail, directories, radio, television, or otherwise that the licensee will perform any act prohibited by section 18-13-119 (3), C.R.S.;

(n) Has engaged in any of the following activities and practices: Willful and repeated ordering or performance, without clinical justification, of demonstrably unnecessary laboratory tests or studies; the administration, without clinical justification, of treatment which is demonstrably unnecessary; the failure to obtain consultations or perform referrals when failing to do so is not consistent with the standard of care for the profession; or ordering or performing, without clinical justification, any service, X ray, or treatment which is contrary to recognized standards of the practice of nursing as interpreted by the board;

(o) Has committed a fraudulent insurance act, as defined in section 10-1-128, C.R.S.;

(p) Has prescribed, distributed, or given to himself or herself or a family member any controlled substance as defined in part 2 of article 18 of title 18, C.R.S., or as contained in schedule II of 21 U.S.C. sec. 812;

(q) Has dispensed, injected, or prescribed an anabolic steroid, as defined in section 18-18-102 (3), C.R.S., for the purpose of hormonal manipulation that is intended to increase muscle mass, strength, or weight without a medical necessity to do so or for the intended purpose of improving performance in any form of exercise, sport, or game;

(r) Has dispensed or injected an anabolic steroid, as defined in section 18-18-102 (3), C.R.S., unless such anabolic steroid is dispensed from a pharmacy pursuant to a written prescription or is dispensed by any person licensed to practice medicine in the course of such person’s professional practice;

(s) Has administered, dispensed, or prescribed any habit-forming drug or any controlled substance as defined in section 18-18-102 (5), C.R.S., other than in the course of legitimate professional practice;

(t) Has been disciplined by another state, territory, or country based upon an act or omission that is defined substantially the same as a ground for discipline pursuant to this subsection (1);

(u) Willfully fails to respond in a materially factual and timely manner to a complaint issued pursuant to section 12-38-116.5 (3);

(v) Has failed to accurately complete and submit to the board the designated questionnaire upon renewal of a license pursuant to section 12-38-111 (3), 12-38-112 (3), or 12-38-112.5 (8);

(w) (I) Represents himself or herself to an individual or to the general public by use of any word or abbreviation to indicate or induce others to believe that he or she is a licensed practical or professional nurse unless the person is actually licensed as a practical nurse or professional nurse, respectively; or (II) Uses the title “nurse”, “registered nurse”, “R.N.”, “practical nurse”, “trained practical nurse”, “licensed vocational nurse”, “licensed practical nurse”, or “L.P.N.” unless the person is licensed by the board;

(x) Practices as a practical or professional nurse during a period when the person’s license has been suspended, revoked, or placed on inactive status pursuant to section 12-38-118.5;

(y) Sells or fraudulently obtains or furnishes a license to practice as a nurse or aids or abets therein;

(z) Has failed to report to the board, within forty-five days after a final conviction, that the person has been convicted of a crime, as defined in title 18, C.R.S.; or

(aa) Fails to maintain professional liability insurance in accordance with section 12-38-111.8.

(6) The prescribing, dispensing, or distribution of an opiate antagonist by an advanced practice nurse shall not constitute grounds for discipline if he or she prescribed, dispensed, or distributed the opiate antagonist in a good faith effort to assist:

(a) A person who is at increased risk of experiencing or likely to experience an opiate-related drug overdose event, as defined in section 18-1-712 (5) (e), C.R.S.; or

(b) A family member, friend, or other person who is in a position to assist a person who is at increased risk of experiencing or likely to experience an opiate-related drug overdose event, as defined in section 18-1-712 (5) (e), C.R.S.

If You Are Applying For A Nurses License In Colorado And You Already Have A DUI Conviction

While this firm does not handle nurse licensing issues – it is noteworthy that the nursing student should certainly try to defend their DUI charge because the impact of the conviction before a license is issued may be greater.

It is equally clear that DORA will perform a thorough investigation and considers a number of different variables that surround the plea bargain and handling of probation after the conviction entered. Was probation successfully completed, restitution paid, was there complete rehabilitation vis a vis a treatment program and what exactly led up to and what were the facts and circumstances underlying the offense as well as the age of the crime.

Colorado Disciplinary Action – Nurses

The laws that apply to the obtaining and maintaining of a Colorado nurses license may compel limitations on working in certain environments while rehabilitation is ongoing. As noted above – (CRS 24-5-101. Effect of criminal conviction on employment rights) certain criminal convictions under federal and state laws, which require criminal background checks may result in an absolute or discretionary bar to employment with certain older adults or children.

In Colorado, in general, – a single DUI should not bar a nurse from either obtaining or maintaining his or her nurse’s license. On the other hand – it is critically important that if you find yourself in the situation of having been charged with DUI – or other more serious alcohol and driving offenses such as vehicular assault or vehicular homicide – you should locate an experienced Colorado DUI lawyer who can fight your charge and/or negotiate a favorable plea which will not impact your goal to obtain or to maintain a nurse’s license

Colorado Criminal Lawyer Series – Will I Lose My Nursing License In Colorado If I Get A DUI?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author at [email protected] – A Denver Colorado DUI – DWAI – DUID – Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-220-2277.

If you are charged with A Colorado crime or you have questions about the topic of this article – Colorado Criminal Lawyer Series – Will I Lose My Nursing License In Colorado If I Get A DUI?, please call our office. The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.

H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Criminal DefenseH

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. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of day to day courtroom experience – specializing in Colorado Criminal Law along the Front Range. He will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options. Remember, it costs NOTHING to discuss your case. Call now for an immediate free phone consultation.


Helping Clients To Make Informed Decisions In the Defense of Colorado Criminal Cases.

Contact A Lawyer with Three Decades of Experience as a Denver Criminal Attorney at The Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm today.

Colorado Defense Lawyer H. Michael Steinberg provides solid criminal defense for clients throughout the Front Range of Colorado – including the City and County courts of Adams County, Arapahoe County, City and County of Boulder, City and County of Broomfield, City and County of Denver, Douglas County, El Paso County – Colorado Springs, Gilpin County, Jefferson County, Larimer County, and Weld County,…. and all the other cities and counties of Colorado along the I-25 Corridor… on cases involving the subject of this article – Colorado Criminal Lawyer Series – Will I Lose My Nursing License In Colorado If I Get A DUI?.

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H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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