DWI consequences for Nurses in Texas

Attorney Trey Porter
Trey Porter

DWI consequences for Nurses in Texas

DWI consequences for Nurses in Texas

What happens if a nurse gets a DWI in Texas?

Nurses can lose their license and livelihood when facing criminal prosecution in Texas. The legal consequences for DWI in Texas are severe. The career consequences for DWI in Texas can be devastating for healthcare professionals. When charged with DWI, nurses are subject to license suspension and revocation from the Department of Public Safety and the Texas Board of Nursing, as well as incarceration from the pending criminal prosecution. 

  • Can you lose your nursing license for DWI in Texas? Yes. The Texas Board of Nursing, which oversees the licensure and renewal for nurses statewide, has the power to suspend or revoke a license if deemed appropriate after investigation.
  • Will a DUI ruin a nursing career? No. A DWI charge does not disqualify a person from becoming a nurse in Texas. Thousands of healthcare professionals in Texas have overcome criminal charges. Avoiding a conviction is what matters most. You can beat a DWI in Texas. Learn more.
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What are DWI consequences for Texas nurses?

A first-time DWI charge in Texas is a Class B Misdemeanor unless enhanced by aggravating factors. In addition to professional consequences, nurses charged with DWI in Texas face jail time, a permanent criminal conviction, thousands of dollars in fines, and a driver’s license suspension.

  • DWI with a BAC below .15 is a Class B misdemeanor. The maximum fine is $3,000.00, and the maximum jail sentence is 6 months. A conviction for this offense results in a driver license suspension. Texas nurses can have their license suspended or revoked after a conviction for DWI. Learn more.
  • DWI with a BAC of .15 or higher is a Class A misdemeanor. The maximum fine is $6,000.00, and the maximum jail sentence is 12 months. A conviction for this offense is permanent and results in a driver license suspension. A DWI conviction subjects a Texas nursing license to suspension or revocation.
  • DWI with an open container (DWIOC) is a Class A or B misdemeanor depending on the BAC. However, a person convicted of DWIOC faces a minimum of 6 days in jail because of the Open Container enhancement. Learn more.
  • DWI with Child Passenger is a State Jail Felony. The maximum fine is $10,000.00, and the maximum period of confinement is 24 months in a State Jail facility. A conviction for this offense is permanent and results in a driver license suspension as well as other serious, collateral consequences associated with being a convicted felon.

Felony charges carry heavier, potentially devastating consequences for nurses in Texas. In addition to loss of employment, the likelihood of a license suspension or revocation is near certain with a felony conviction.

What are nurse ethical standards in Texas?

The ethical standards for Texas nurses are outlined in the Texas Administrative Code Title 22, Part 11, Chapter 217.11. Additionally, all LVNs, RNs, APNs, and CNAs are required to conform to the Texas Nursing Practice Act (NPA). Any deviation or failure to meet these standards jeopardizes a nursing license. Criminal conduct, like an arrest or conviction for DWI, can trigger an investigation to determine if there was a failure to adhere to ethical standards.

  • Do nurses have to report DWI arrest to Texas board?No. Nurses are not required to report an arrest for DWI unless the DWI is classified as a felony charge. However, reporting requirements during renewal periods may require disclosure of an arrest or pending case.
  • Do nurses have to report DWI convictions to the Texas board?Yes. In Texas, a DWI conviction is a reportable offense to the Board of Nursing. Nurses face harsh penalties when an unreported conviction is discovered.Once a DWI conviction is reported or discovered, an investigation will follow. All nurses have the right to an attorney during a Texas Board of Nursing investigation and disciplinary proceeding.

Can you be a nurse with a DUI on your record? 

A misdemeanor charge or conviction does not disqualify someone from obtaining a nursing license in Texas. However, criminal charges, even if dismissed, look bad and can hurt future job opportunities.

  • Can a nurse have deferred adjudication?Nurses in Texas can take advantage of deferred adjudication when facing criminal prosecution for misdemeanor offenses. However, the situation can become more complicated when facing a felony charge. Learn more.
  • How do you get a DUI expunged in Texas?DUI and DWI are different in Texas. If you have been charged with either, and avoided a conviction, then your record may be eligible for an expunction or nondisclosure. Learn more.


Trey Porter is a dynamic advocate, nationally recognized for his work in DWI Defense. He has been voted by his peers as a best lawyer in the field of Criminal and DWI Defense every year since 2015. Recognized by SuperLawyers, Mr. Porter has also been distinguished as a Top 40 Under 40 Criminal Defense Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Porter holds a Superb rating from AVVO, where attorneys are rated based on skillful litigation, client satisfaction, peer endorsements, and positive results. Learn more.

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Attorney Trey Porter

Trey Porter

Trey Porter is one of the highest-rated criminal defense attorneys in Texas. Nationally recognized, Mr. Porter relentlessly fights to protect and assert his clients’ constitutional rights in and out of courtrooms across the state.


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