Can a DUI Lead to a Security Clearance Denial?

Across the nation, driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is one offense commonly committed by everyday citizens, including young military personnel in their late teens and early twenties. While young people may be notorious for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, anyone can be arrested for DUI. If you happen to be in the military, or planning on going into the military, or if you hope to have a career in law enforcement, a DUI can be a problem when it comes to the security clearance.

A DUI conviction, whether it’s for a misdemeanor or a felony, can cause some major hurdles employment and career wise, especially for those working in the Armed Forces, for law enforcement, or for the government. Understandably, the main reason why DUI poses major problems for government employees is because government agencies are supposed to uphold a standard of conduct; the people who work for government organizations are expected to be model citizens who follow the rules they enforce.

In regards to security clearance, recent DUIs pose other questions about an applicant’s trustworthiness. As far as the U.S. government is concerned, an applicant who has a DUI may have a drinking problem, and therefore may be a “security risk,” especially if they are in the habit of leaking classified information while under the influence.

Guideline G: Alcohol Consumption

When people apply for security clearance, they must go through the “Adjudicative Process,” which examines a long period of the person’s life; the purpose is to determine if the person is an acceptable security risk. Under Guideline G: Alcohol Consumption, the concern with alcohol is that it leads to:

  • Questionable judgement
  • Failure to control one’s impulses
  • Questions over reliability
  • Questions over trustworthiness

If you were convicted of DUI or DWI, that does not mean all hope is lost. There are various conditions that can mitigate security clearance concerns. If the DUI was a long time ago, or if it was a one-time event, or if you acknowledged alcoholism issues and sought professional help, or if you are currently making satisfactory progress in an alcohol treatment program, these are all factors that may paint you in a more favorable light, but you may need an attorney’s assistance to prove this.

Was your security clearance denied? Or, are you seeking professional legal representation to improve your chances of obtaining security clearance? In either case, our security clearance attorneys at Claery & Hammond, LLP, LLP have nearly 30 years of collective experience representing individuals like yourself, and we’d be glad to offer you the knowledgeable representation you need and deserve.

Contact our security clearance lawyers today for an aggressive, proactive approach!