As you know, if you’re given security clearance, it’s a big
deal. It means you’ve passed a thorough background check that dove
deep into your personal and professional history. That security clearance
came at a hard-earned price and as a result of positive findings, you
received a desirable position or job within an organization.
Now that you have passed the background investigation, you know that you
must be a good citizen to maintain your security clearance. A black mark,
such as a domestic violence conviction can spell disaster for your career,
so what about a
DUI conviction? Will a DUI mean that your
security clearance will be revoked?
A DUI May Affect Your Security Clearance
Depending on the agency that you work for and the nature and circumstances
surrounding the DUI, a criminal conviction for DUI
could lead to a revocation of your security clearance. Since there are several
types of security clearances, we can’t give you a “one size
fits all” answer.
first-time DUI, especially one without aggravating factors will not lead to a revocation.
If your offense was a simple DUI, and nobody else was injured, it’s
possible that your security clearance will
not be revoked unless you demonstrate a
pattern of alcohol abuse.
However, there are exceptions to this rule, especially when it comes to
intelligence agencies, such as the NSA or the CIA – both agencies
frown heavily upon excessive alcohol use. This makes sense since people
tend to have “loose lips” when they drink.
If you happen to work for an intelligence service, something as minor as
public drunkenness can mean your security clearance will be revoked, and
same goes for a DUI.
New Security Clearance Holders Are More at Risk
Let’s say you’re a new security clearance holder. In that case,
you’re on shakier ground than say, someone who’s had security
clearance for a dozen years. If you’re a new security clearance
holder, your employer may not be okay with a DUI conviction, and they
may decide to revoke your clearance.
Depending on the agency you work for and the nature of your DUI charges,
your employer may allow you to maintain your clearance if you complete
an alcohol education or rehabilitation program, but this is not guaranteed.
Note: regardless of the nature of your arrest, you must report it immediately
to your employer. Otherwise, withholding such information will likely
result in a revocation of your security clearance.
If a recent DUI arrest is threatening your security clearance, contact
the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a hard-hitting defense.
Call now for a free consultation!