The state Department of Health has suspended the license of a Whatcom County nurse who admitted to drinking alcohol prior to his shift at St. Joseph hospital.
Charles Vincent Shoecraft was working as a registered nurse at the Bellingham hospital when he clocked in to work about 7:51 a.m. on Nov. 1, 2016, according to the state agency’s statement of charges.
At some point, he submitted to what was described as a “reasonable suspicion breath test for alcohol.”
Results showed he had an alcohol level of 0.133 at about 10:39 a.m. and 0.135 at about 10:57 a.m., according to the agency.
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By comparison, the legal limit for driving is under .08. However, there is no “legal limit” for medical professionals on the job, a state official said.
“Nurses may not practice while affected by drugs or alcohol,” said Sharon Moysiuk, spokeswoman for the state Department of Health. “There is no presumptive cutoff or permissible level in our WAC (Washington Administrative Code).”
Shoecraft no longer works for PeaceHealth.
Shoecraft may petition to have his license reinstated, after he provides evidence that he has been clean and sober for at least 12 consecutive months, including random testing, a chemical dependency evaluation and participation in support groups.