DWI and Your Professional License: How Your Private Life Affects Your Professional Life

When it comes to your professional license, you may worry that your conduct or poor decision-making will put it in peril someday. However, while possible, in many cases, those who hold a professional license find it more at risk because of what they choose to do in their off-work hours.

It can happen to anyone. You leave work for the day, go meet up with someone for a few drinks, and a few drinks with them turns into a few more as you sit down to watch a Vikings game. You then make the poor decision to drive yourself home, and find yourself under arrest for a DWI, but this arrest puts your license at peril as well. DWI arrests are common and a common cause for the potential revocation of suspension of your professional license, which is why you need to take action.


If you have been arrested for a DWI, even if you believe there will be no conviction, you will need to self-report it to the licensing board. If you choose not to self-report, then you may find it coming up at your next renewal and it could lead to serious repercussions.

The issue with getting a DWI for those that hold a professional license is that they often hold that license because they serve the public in some way. Doctors, nurses, dentists, and even realtors do the public a regulated service and if any professional that hold a license to practice that profession is arrested for a DWI or any other crime, it needs to be taken under consideration because you could be a risk to the public.

A DWI can be an accident that just happens one night after poor decision-making, or it can be the sign of a larger drinking problem that could spill into your work. If it was just indeed one wrong decision, it likely won’t result in the revocation of your license, but you still need to take the proper steps.

When self-reporting a DWI arrest or conviction, you will want a lawyer by your side to advise you on the best course of action. What you say or do when reporting can affect the punishments brought about by the licensing board. Your lawyer will go over how you should present yourself, what you should and should not say, and how to disclose in a way that will limit disciplinary actions. Depending on the severity of the DWI charge or if you have past DWI convictions, it will depend on what action is taken against your license.

If the charge may be particularly bad for your license, often it can help to show remorse and that you are making attempts to address and rectify a potential problem. For example, both courts and licensing boards often look positively on individuals who have sought out substance abuse programs in order to prevent another DWI issue from occurring. However, if you are not legitimately interested in pursuing these for help but rather because it will look good, you will want to consult your lawyer if it is even needed. First time offenders, especially those who were arrested just over the legal limit, may not really need these intervention programs unless they truly believe they have a problem.

Are you a professional license holder in Minnesota who has been arrested for a DWI? While you may still need to report the arrest to your license board, having the case dropped can help escape legal and professional punishments. We can help with both professional license issues and DWI charges, so contact us today to see how Speas Law Firm represent you.