According to the U.S. Department of State, security clearances are only
granted to those who have passed a background investigation. The background
check must determine that the individual’s personal and professional
history demonstrates loyalty to the U.S., honesty, character, discretion
and sound judgment.
If you are applying for security clearance and you were recently arrested for
DUI, you’re probably wondering if you’re jeopardizing your career,
particularly if a conviction is imminent. For obvious reasons, you need
to find out if a DUI arrest or conviction will affect your ability to
pass the background investigation.
While you’re going through the background investigation, your criminal
history will be carefully reviewed. While an old DUI may not be a deal
breaker, especially if it was years ago and never recurred, a recent DUI
is another story. Can you fail a background investigation due to a recent
DUI conviction? In a word – yes.
What if you already have security clearance, would a DUI cause you to lose
DUI arrest should not result in an automatic revocation of your security clearance.
You may not have to address the DUI until your clearance comes up for
review. That said, it’s important that you understand what impact
a DUI can have.
About Periodic Reinvestigations
Generally, security clearances are subject to reinvestigations
every 5 years. If you are notified by the Office of Personnel Security and Suitability
that another background investigation will be conducted, the new investigation
will start from where your previous background investigation left off.
You’ll have to go through the
adjudicative process, which refers to an examination of your life to make an affirmative determination
if you are an acceptable security risk.
When evaluating your conduct, the adjudicator will consider:
- Your motivation
- The seriousness of your conduct
- The circumstances of the conduct
- The frequency of the conduct
- When the conduct occurred
- The likelihood it will recur
Ultimately, the decision to grant continued security clearance comes down
to common sense and what’s in the interests of national security.
The decision is based on 13 guidelines, but the following apply to a DUI:
- Personal Conduct
- Alcohol Consumption
- Drug Involvement
- Psychological Conditions
- Criminal Conduct
If you have security clearance and you’re facing DUI charges, or
if you’re applying for security clearance and you were recently
arrested for DUI,
contact our office to speak with an Orange County DUI attorney. We can answer all of your
questions and instruct you on how to properly deal with this situation.