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How DUIs Impact Professional Licenses

If someone is convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) for the first time in the state of Arizona, they will be jailed for at least 10 days, fined at least $1,250, required to complete community service, subject to alcohol screening, education, and treatment, and required to equip any vehicle they operate with a certified ignition interlock device, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. However, they may also face additional ramifications that have a lasting impact on their lives, such as the loss or suspension of their professional licenses. If you are wondering about how DUIs impact professional licenses, contact Chuck Frankly directly at 480-545-0700.

The Effect of DUI on a Professional License

Many professionals like pilots, nurses, doctors, teachers, lawyers, engineers, and architects are governed by professional licensing boards. These boards are responsible for ensuring that these professionals maintain proper training and licenses. They also often discipline professionals under their authority if they engage in criminal or unprofessional conduct.

A professional licensing board in Arizona may require its members to report arrests for DUIs within a certain timeframe after the arrest. After notification, the licensing board will typically conduct an investigation independent of the criminal case to determine if there are grounds for disciplinary action. The board may consider various factors when making this assessment, such as the number of previous convictions, the driver’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), and any prior addiction history, for example. Under the licensing board, the professional may be subject to disciplinary action, such as:

  • Revocation of their professional license
  • Suspension of their professional license
  • Requirement to participate in drug or alcohol treatment or rehabilitation
  • Requirement to undergo an addiction evaluation
  • A decree of censure
  • Formal probation
  • Participation in an addiction support program

How DUIs Impact Professional Licenses: Different Careers

DUIs can impact professional licenses in different ways. Whether a person is required to report a DUI charge to their licensing board and whether reporting is required only upon an arrest (not conviction), depends on the specific licensing board.

Healthcare Professionals

Under ARS 32-3208, a licensed healthcare professional must report a citation or arrest for DUI within 10 working days to their professional licensing board. This rule applies to a variety of healthcare professionals, including:

  • Physicians
  • Police officers (when driving marked police vehicles)
  • Nurses
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Pharmacy technicians
  • Dental hygienists
  • Personal trainers
  • Veterinary technicians


The State Board of Education does not have its own reporting requirement for DUI. However, there may be a reporting requirement at the district level. Therefore, teachers who are employed may be required to report a DUI arrest or conviction to their district. Additionally, teachers are generally subject to background checks upon employment or transfer within a school district. A DUI on a person’s record could negatively impact a teacher’s future job prospects.


Lawyers are also governed by a professional licensing board. Their misconduct is reported to the State Bar of Arizona’s Lawyer Regulation Department. Once a report is made, the State Bar of Arizona determines whether the conduct warrants the filing of a formal complaint with the Disciplinary clerk, Office of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge. Potential clients can find disciplinary action that was made against a lawyer, and this may impact whether or not they decide to hire the lawyer.

Real Estate Agents

Licensed real estate agents or brokers are not required to report an arrest for DUI. However, they are required to report any DUI conviction in writing within 10 days. Additionally, they are required to report the conviction when they renew their license. The Arizona Department of Real Estate (ADRE) might require a member to submit additional documents for it to review once the member discloses the DUI conviction. A conviction for DUI might not impact a real estate license in Arizona. However, the ADRE does not typically renew professional licenses if a person is convicted of a felony and incarcerated, paroled, or under community supervision.

Under previous law, a DUI charge used to require that a driving restriction notification be placed on a real estate agent’s fingerprint clearance card. This made it so agents could not drive clients. However, this is no longer the rule for most agents except for those who work for certain government employers.

Commercial Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that a CDL holder notify their employer within 30 days of being convicted of a DUI. This requirement applies to conviction based on driving a personal vehicle or commercial vehicle at the time of the offense. Additionally, a CDL holder must notify their employer if they are notified that their CDL is revoked, suspended, withdrawn, or disqualified the same day they receive such notification.


Pilots who are charged with DUI must report this to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). They are also required to notify the FAA if their driver’s license is suspended due to alcohol or drug violations, regardless of any conviction. The FAA is also notified when a pilot’s fingerprints are run through LiveScan. If a pilot is convicted of DUI, they must notify the FAA within 60 days.

Other Professionals

Other professionals may be subject to disciplinary action or notification requirements through their professional licensing board. They should check on the board’s website for any such requirements.

Security Clearance and DUI

In addition to effects on a person’s professional license, a DUI can also potentially impact a person’s security clearance. Individuals may be required to report information about a DUI arrest when they are applying for or renewing their security clearance. Some jobs specifically ask individuals applying for clearance if there are any criminal charges that are pending or currently being investigated. Understanding how DUIs impact professional licenses and security clearance may be pivotal to protecting a license. Chuck Franklin Law can review the professional licensing reporting requirements and defend individuals in front of professional boards.

Contact an Arizona Professional Licensing Defense Lawyer

If you are wondering how DUIs impact a professional license in Arizona, consider contacting the experienced professional licensing defense lawyers from Chuck Franklin Law at 480-545-0700 to learn more and ensure your legal rights are protected. Chuck Franklin always answers the phone directly, and can help you understand all of your legal options if you are facing a DUI in the state of Arizona.

A wooden gavel beside a car key on a bar with a glass of beer in the background, symbolizing the potential impact of DUI charges on professional licensing and legal responsibilities.

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