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THE.PA.PAC

DUI before PA school and now facing licensing issues.

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Not sure if this is the right place to post, and it might do better under state-specific discussion, but I want to keep my situation generalized with regards to geography (and despite my name I am not having trouble getting a license in Pennsylvania).

 

 

A while before PA school (and a total of nearly four years ago) I messed up really badly and earned a DUI for being extremely stupid and selfish. All fines and debts to society have been paid (at least according to my state's court system) and I am no longer on probation for this offense. With that being said, I honestly feel as if I have paid my dues with regards to this issue, but my state's medical board (and probably some of you) feel otherwise as I have been given a probationary license instead of an unrestricted license. (But please make no mistake. I know how fortunate I am to be offered one at all.)

 

 

I don't mind a "trial period" to make sure this sort of infraction won't happen again, but one stipulation of my probationary license worries me: the possibility of "treatment" for this four-year-old offense. In the coming days I will be issued a probationary officer who will set up an appointment with a representative of my state's version of an impaired provider service. From this one meeting, this one person will decide if I need to enter a treatment program at my expense for a period of 2-4 years.

 

 

Now, I have not then nor ever had a drinking problem, and I have no doubt that all testing (hair, urine, blood) for all drug and EtOH biomarkers (AST, ALT, GGT, CDT, MCV) will come back normal, but I am worried that I only get one chance to "prove my case," so to speak. Other than a handful of times in undergrad did I ever drink, and only during the year before PA school did I ever do what could be considered "partying," and even that was very minimal. Was the timing perfect? No. Do I regret my actions? Yes.

 

 

Only one person in my whole family (and absolutely none of my peers or friends) knows about this incident. The private and personal shame is enough, so I don't feel I need to share it. On top of all of this, no one has ever said I should cut down on my drinking or that I "act different" when I drink. The only thing I do now is never put my self in a position to have even one drink and drive (and this is the case even though my court-ordered probation is over and I can have up to the legal limit again). I figure "Why risk it? I have way too much to lose." So I am always designated driver if we go out to restaurants.

 

 

Long story long, I have done everything I can to right this wrong, but I am still concerned with the aforementioned meeting because this one person (again, based on this one meeting) has the power to stick me in a monthly treatment program (which is only offered during week days, so I'd have to miss work, and at a cost > $1000/month) all for an isolated incident that is four years old (and not to mention there is no physiological evidence to support such a claim of substance abuse).

 

 

When I meet with this person I will be honest and won't tweak any details including current alcohol use (which is always social, infrequent at best, and only red wine or good beer), but I just wanted to see if anyone has been through something similar (or maybe someone knows another clinician who has been through something similar).

 

 

I am not looking for sympathy, or the "too bad, so sad you have to jump through hoops...[insert whatever negativity]." I am only looking for advice or anecdotes if anyone will be kind enough to offer them. But if you feel the need to lay it on thick, then by all means.

 

 

Thanks in advance for your responses.

 

 

And to pre-PAs, PA students and fellow PA newbies, even though most of us are smart and capable, all it takes is one incredibly stupid lapse in judgment for your whole life to change. Case in point: time from my engine turning over until I see flashing lights (< 1 minute). Be smarter than that.

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Not sure if this is the right place to post, and it might do better under state-specific discussion, but I want to keep my situation generalized with regards to geography (and despite my name I am not having trouble getting a license in Pennsylvania).

 

 

A while before PA school (and a total of nearly four years ago) I messed up really badly and earned a DUI for being extremely stupid and selfish. All fines and debts to society have been paid (at least according to my state's court system) and I am no longer on probation for this offense. With that being said, I honestly feel as if I have paid my dues with regards to this issue, but my state's medical board (and probably some of you) feel otherwise as I have been given a probationary license instead of an unrestricted license. (But please make no mistake. I know how fortunate I am to be offered one at all.)

 

 

I don't mind a "trial period" to make sure this sort of infraction won't happen again, but one stipulation of my probationary license worries me: the possibility of "treatment" for this four-year-old offense. In the coming days I will be issued a probationary officer who will set up an appointment with a representative of my state's version of an impaired provider service. From this one meeting, this one person will decide if I need to enter a treatment program at my expense for a period of 2-4 years.

 

 

Now, I have not then nor ever had a drinking problem, and I have no doubt that all testing (hair, urine, blood) for all drug and EtOH biomarkers (AST, ALT, GGT, CDT, MCV) will come back normal, but I am worried that I only get one chance to "prove my case," so to speak. Other than a handful of times in undergrad did I ever drink, and only during the year before PA school did I ever do what could be considered "partying," and even that was very minimal. Was the timing perfect? No. Do I regret my actions? Yes.

 

 

Only one person in my whole family (and absolutely none of my peers or friends) knows about this incident. The private and personal shame is enough, so I don't feel I need to share it. On top of all of this, no one has ever said I should cut down on my drinking or that I "act different" when I drink. The only thing I do now is never put my self in a position to have even one drink and drive (and this is the case even though my court-ordered probation is over and I can have up to the legal limit again). I figure "Why risk it? I have way too much to lose." So I am always designated driver if we go out to restaurants.

 

 

Long story long, I have done everything I can to right this wrong, but I am still concerned with the aforementioned meeting because this one person (again, based on this one meeting) has the power to stick me in a monthly treatment program (which is only offered during week days, so I'd have to miss work, and at a cost > $1000/month) all for an isolated incident that is four years old (and not to mention there is no physiological evidence to support such a claim of substance abuse).

 

 

When I meet with this person I will be honest and won't tweak any details including current alcohol use (which is always social, infrequent at best, and only red wine or good beer), but I just wanted to see if anyone has been through something similar (or maybe someone knows another clinician who has been through something similar).

 

 

I am not looking for sympathy, or the "too bad, so sad you have to jump through hoops...[insert whatever negativity]." I am only looking for advice or anecdotes if anyone will be kind enough to offer them. But if you feel the need to lay it on thick, then by all means.

 

 

Thanks in advance for your responses.

 

 

And to pre-PAs, PA students and fellow PA newbies, even though most of us are smart and capable, all it takes is one incredibly stupid lapse in judgment for your whole life to change. Case in point: time from my engine turning over until I see flashing lights (< 1 minute). Be smarter than that.

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Did you attend an alcohol program as a course of the "debt to society". If so, bring proof with you to your meeting. Bring a copy of proof that your state system has shown you completed whatever they asked you to do. If you get stuck with a treatment program, ask for the criteria of which the decision was based on, and if you don;t meet the criteria, get a lawyer.

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Did you attend an alcohol program as a course of the "debt to society". If so, bring proof with you to your meeting. Bring a copy of proof that your state system has shown you completed whatever they asked you to do. If you get stuck with a treatment program, ask for the criteria of which the decision was based on, and if you don;t meet the criteria, get a lawyer.

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Yes, I did attend and complete an alcohol program, and I have proof of completion that I will bring to the meeting. Thanks for the other advice as well.

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Yes, I did attend and complete an alcohol program, and I have proof of completion that I will bring to the meeting. Thanks for the other advice as well.

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Just out of curiosity..... I know of a person who was just accepted into a PA program that has a DUI but because she got it expunged from her record she did not list it on any of her applications. Legally she has a clean record, morally I think she probably still should have told them. But anyways, could you not work toward having it expunged from your record or would it still show if you applied for a job of this position in that state?

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Just out of curiosity..... I know of a person who was just accepted into a PA program that has a DUI but because she got it expunged from her record she did not list it on any of her applications. Legally she has a clean record, morally I think she probably still should have told them. But anyways, could you not work toward having it expunged from your record or would it still show if you applied for a job of this position in that state?

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I do not think there is anything legally or morally wrong with not talking about your DUI if it was expunged. That is after all the point of having it expunged. I mean did you go and confess every sin you ever did at your interview? I never had a DUI but I do feel strongly about this.

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I do not think there is anything legally or morally wrong with not talking about your DUI if it was expunged. That is after all the point of having it expunged. I mean did you go and confess every sin you ever did at your interview? I never had a DUI but I do feel strongly about this.

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Just out of curiosity..... I know of a person who was just accepted into a PA program that has a DUI but because she got it expunged from her record she did not list it on any of her applications. Legally she has a clean record, morally I think she probably still should have told them. But anyways, could you not work toward having it expunged from your record or would it still show if you applied for a job of this position in that state?

 

Your friend could face expulsion from her program if they discover she did not disclose her DUI, and that is something that just might happen if the program does background checks between didactics and rotations (as is customary with a lot of programs, though some do it before matriculation to confirm the accuracy of one's application).

 

As for her license, most applications for licensure (heck, even the application for my school's program) has had something to the effect of "Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime even if the charge was dismissed or expunged?" So I don't really see the benefit of paying for a charge to be expunged if it needs to be disclosed anyway. Perhaps someone else can fill us in.

 

Honesty really is the best policy in these situations. Sure it's nice for them never to find out, and sure it's nice for her to not jump through hoops. But if they find out you lied, then jumping through hoops is the least of your worries because when they deny her state license she'll have to disclose that on a lot of other state license applications (i.e., you must mark "Yes, I have been denied a license from another state"). Try explaining that one away.

Edited by THE.PA.PAC

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Just out of curiosity..... I know of a person who was just accepted into a PA program that has a DUI but because she got it expunged from her record she did not list it on any of her applications. Legally she has a clean record, morally I think she probably still should have told them. But anyways, could you not work toward having it expunged from your record or would it still show if you applied for a job of this position in that state?

 

Your friend could face expulsion from her program if they discover she did not disclose her DUI, and that is something that just might happen if the program does background checks between didactics and rotations (as is customary with a lot of programs, though some do it before matriculation to confirm the accuracy of one's application).

 

As for her license, most applications for licensure (heck, even the application for my school's program) has had something to the effect of "Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime even if the charge was dismissed or expunged?" So I don't really see the benefit of paying for a charge to be expunged if it needs to be disclosed anyway. Perhaps someone else can fill us in.

 

Honesty really is the best policy in these situations. Sure it's nice for them never to find out, and sure it's nice for her to not jump through hoops. But if they find out you lied, then jumping through hoops is the least of your worries because when they deny her state license she'll have to disclose that on a lot of other state license applications (i.e., you must mark "Yes, I have been denied a license from another state"). Try explaining that one away.

Edited by THE.PA.PAC

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Just out of curiosity..... I know of a person who was just accepted into a PA program that has a DUI but because she got it expunged from her record she did not list it on any of her applications. Legally she has a clean record, morally I think she probably still should have told them. But anyways, could you not work toward having it expunged from your record or would it still show if you applied for a job of this position in that state?

 

She was correct to not report a record because she does not have a record. If your record was expunged then it's gone and never was. The definition of expunge is:

 

1. To erase or strike out.2. To eliminate completely; annihilate.

 

I can understand if someone has an ethical issue with this but it doesn't matter by law.

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Just out of curiosity..... I know of a person who was just accepted into a PA program that has a DUI but because she got it expunged from her record she did not list it on any of her applications. Legally she has a clean record, morally I think she probably still should have told them. But anyways, could you not work toward having it expunged from your record or would it still show if you applied for a job of this position in that state?

 

She was correct to not report a record because she does not have a record. If your record was expunged then it's gone and never was. The definition of expunge is:

 

1. To erase or strike out.2. To eliminate completely; annihilate.

 

I can understand if someone has an ethical issue with this but it doesn't matter by law.

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She was correct to not report a record because she does not have a record. If your record was expunged then it's gone and never was. The definition of expunge is:

 

1. To erase or strike out.2. To eliminate completely; annihilate.

 

I can understand if someone has an ethical issue with this but it doesn't matter by law.

 

That may very well be, but if she marks "yes" to having a charge expunged, then some state applications ask for an explanation, too. So when she says a DUI was expunged, that can still weigh on their decision to grant a license, a probationary license, or deny application for state licensure.

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She was correct to not report a record because she does not have a record. If your record was expunged then it's gone and never was. The definition of expunge is:

 

1. To erase or strike out.2. To eliminate completely; annihilate.

 

I can understand if someone has an ethical issue with this but it doesn't matter by law.

 

That may very well be, but if she marks "yes" to having a charge expunged, then some state applications ask for an explanation, too. So when she says a DUI was expunged, that can still weigh on their decision to grant a license, a probationary license, or deny application for state licensure.

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Being a licensed Private Investigator in the state of Texas, I know for certain you can NOT get a DWI (that is what we call it here) expunged anymore. EDIT: I am sorry wrong thread, but you might want to do some homework and the best thing you can do right now is be honesty.

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Being a licensed Private Investigator in the state of Texas, I know for certain you can NOT get a DWI (that is what we call it here) expunged anymore. EDIT: I am sorry wrong thread, but you might want to do some homework and the best thing you can do right now is be honesty.

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Yes, I did attend and complete an alcohol program, and I have proof of completion that I will bring to the meeting. Thanks for the other advice as well.

 

Wow, things have changed. FWIW, I had a DUI 6 years before PA school. Just out of the military...young...made a mistake...

 

Paid my fine, did the 3 day alcohol treatment course, and had to follow up with a counselor. Did my community service, served my probation, that was it.

 

Didn't affect me getting into PA school and I have licenses in 3 states and it wasn't a problem in any of them. I had to declare it, and then send in all court documentation detailing that I completed all requirements. We all make mistakes...But just know that you are not alone....

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Yes, I did attend and complete an alcohol program, and I have proof of completion that I will bring to the meeting. Thanks for the other advice as well.

 

Wow, things have changed. FWIW, I had a DUI 6 years before PA school. Just out of the military...young...made a mistake...

 

Paid my fine, did the 3 day alcohol treatment course, and had to follow up with a counselor. Did my community service, served my probation, that was it.

 

Didn't affect me getting into PA school and I have licenses in 3 states and it wasn't a problem in any of them. I had to declare it, and then send in all court documentation detailing that I completed all requirements. We all make mistakes...But just know that you are not alone....

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Wow, things have changed. FWIW, I had a DUI 6 years before PA school. Just out of the military...young...made a mistake...

 

Paid my fine, did the 3 day alcohol treatment course, and had to follow up with a counselor. Did my community service, served my probation, that was it.

 

Didn't affect me getting into PA school and I have licenses in 3 states and it wasn't a problem in any of them. I had to declare it, and then send in all court documentation detailing that I completed all requirements. We all make mistakes...But just know that you are not alone....

 

Thanks for your honesty and sharing your story. I think the proximity to my offense and license application are a factor (although your six years and my four years don't seem too far apart). As for your punishment, mine was the same but it sounds like the times reflect different sums of money and length of rehabilitation: $3K fine; 100 day program; mandatory AA meetings (and you have to have them verify in writing you attended); $300 for privilege of working 50 hours cutting trees and picking up garbage instead of serving similar jail time; and a whole host of stipulations on my license (including SP documenting my "progress" through probation). The more time I put between me and this ordeal the better, and since there are a few states farther west that I would like to one day live I really hope I don't have to go through all of this again.

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Wow, things have changed. FWIW, I had a DUI 6 years before PA school. Just out of the military...young...made a mistake...

 

Paid my fine, did the 3 day alcohol treatment course, and had to follow up with a counselor. Did my community service, served my probation, that was it.

 

Didn't affect me getting into PA school and I have licenses in 3 states and it wasn't a problem in any of them. I had to declare it, and then send in all court documentation detailing that I completed all requirements. We all make mistakes...But just know that you are not alone....

 

Thanks for your honesty and sharing your story. I think the proximity to my offense and license application are a factor (although your six years and my four years don't seem too far apart). As for your punishment, mine was the same but it sounds like the times reflect different sums of money and length of rehabilitation: $3K fine; 100 day program; mandatory AA meetings (and you have to have them verify in writing you attended); $300 for privilege of working 50 hours cutting trees and picking up garbage instead of serving similar jail time; and a whole host of stipulations on my license (including SP documenting my "progress" through probation). The more time I put between me and this ordeal the better, and since there are a few states farther west that I would like to one day live I really hope I don't have to go through all of this again.

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Thanks for your honesty and sharing your story. I think the proximity to my offense and license application are a factor (although your six years and my four years don't seem too far apart). As for your punishment, mine was the same but it sounds like the times reflect different sums of money and length of rehabilitation: $3K fine; 100 day program; mandatory AA meetings (and you have to have them verify in writing you attended); $300 for privilege of working 50 hours cutting trees and picking up garbage instead of serving similar jail time; and a whole host of stipulations on my license (including SP documenting my "progress" through probation). The more time I put between me and this ordeal the better, and since there are a few states farther west that I would like to one day live I really hope I don't have to go through all of this again.

 

 

Well things have changed.....Mine was 22 years ago though...

 

LOL.....I paid a 500 dollar fine, 3 day program, and 72 hours of community service. No AA meetings, etc.

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Thanks for your honesty and sharing your story. I think the proximity to my offense and license application are a factor (although your six years and my four years don't seem too far apart). As for your punishment, mine was the same but it sounds like the times reflect different sums of money and length of rehabilitation: $3K fine; 100 day program; mandatory AA meetings (and you have to have them verify in writing you attended); $300 for privilege of working 50 hours cutting trees and picking up garbage instead of serving similar jail time; and a whole host of stipulations on my license (including SP documenting my "progress" through probation). The more time I put between me and this ordeal the better, and since there are a few states farther west that I would like to one day live I really hope I don't have to go through all of this again.

 

 

Well things have changed.....Mine was 22 years ago though...

 

LOL.....I paid a 500 dollar fine, 3 day program, and 72 hours of community service. No AA meetings, etc.

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