Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be a pretty serious offense, leading to all sorts of punishments as a result of your conviction. These can include loss of driving privileges, jail time, fees, mandatory education courses, and more.
So, say this was a one-time mistake or you decided to get your life back together. You’re looking for a way to get a renewed start, so you consider employment with the federal government. After perusing available jobs you’re interested in, you find a few that require a security clearance. You’re probably wondering when the best time is to apply for this job or if you even have to wait a certain period after your conviction to apply.
The answer to these questions, frankly, is it doesn’t really matter when you apply for a government job requiring a security clearance when you have a DUI on your record. There’s no period of time that must elapse from the date of your conviction before you can apply, but make sure you can meet the requirements of the job, like holding a valid driver’s license and having reliable transportation to work.
Ultimately, your DUI conviction isn’t a security clearance concern, especially if it’s your only one. If you have several DUIs in your past, though, it shows a pattern that will definitely raise eyebrows about your character, which also matters a great deal when it comes to getting a security clearance.
That said, having only one DUI in your past doesn’t mean it won’t matter. The circumstances of your case will certainly be assessed to determine your suitability for the government position you want.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared to discuss your DUI conviction, no matter how recent it is. You will probably be asked about it, and there may be a way to talk about it that can protect your eligibility for a security clearance.
If you would like to discuss an issue like this or something else regarding security clearance with an attorney who can help, don’t hesitate to reach out to Claery & Hammond, LLP for assistance.
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