Being accused of driving under the influence is a big deal no matter who you are, but if you happen to hold a medical license in the state of Pennsylvania things get even more complicated. Not only do you have to deal with the aftermath of the DUI itself, but you also have to work with the ramifications to your medical license. Essentially, being accused of a crime involving “moral turpitude” like a DUI can potentially cause you to lose your professional license and your livelihood. Thus, you may be wondering what the best option is. We encourage you to look into the ARD program if you are a first-time DUI offender in Pennsylvania.
Many professionals like yourselves, justifiably concerned about the state of their livelihoods, fall into the trap known as the Professional Health Monitoring Program’s “Letter of Concern.” This letter “states concern” about the individual’s relationship with drugs and/or alcohol and encourages them to sign up for the PHMP’s process voluntarily. However, as stated, this is a trap.
It is far easier to go through the requirements the ARD Program puts forth if you are a first-time offender. The ARD Program is completely separate from licensing, and thus if the ARD Program is completed and the charge expunged, you will not need to tell the professional board about the DUI arrest.
Should you receive the “Letter of Concern,” the best course of action is to not attend the assessment. Instead, the superior course is to comply with the ARD Program and the ARD Program only. Once the ARD Program is completed, you will be back at your job without the onerous requirements the PHMP will put upon you.
This blog is intended to explain the difference between the PHMP’s process and the ARD’s. It is not intended to be taken as legal advice.