The High Cost of a DUI When You Hold a Professional License

The Automobile Club of Southern California reports that the costs associated with a DUI conviction have risen since the Auto Club last reviewed the issue in 2010. The costs associated with a DUI conviction include fines to the state, county penalties, attorney fees and increased auto insurance rates.

What the report does not touch on in terms of cost are the negative consequences of a DUI when an individual holds a professional license issued by the State of California.

For example, if a real estate agent has two or more convictions involving the consumption of alcohol or drugs when at least one of the convictions involves driving, the Bureau of Real Estate (BRE) may file an Accusation against the real estate agent.

Such Accusations from the BRE typically result in a revocation of the individual’s real estate license and a restricted license is issued in its place. Information about the real agent’s revocation and restricted license is then posted on the BRE’s website under the individual’s license history. This can take a real toll on one’s business and professional reputation.

Some professions face an action after a single DUI. For example registered nurses can expect to find that the Board of Registered Nursing will investigate and often file an Accusation based on a single DUI conviction. As with real estate professionals, the cost of the discipline that accompanies the action can result in job loss, a permanent blemish on one’s professional reputation and a public record that suggests the individual is an alcoholic—when this may not be the case.

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