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Impact of DUIs on Security Clearances

The federal government is careful about who it gives access to classified information and facilities. Before the government gives a “security clearance,” to an individual, that person must pass a thorough background check which examines virtually every detail of the person’s life, including their relatives, credit situation, financial history, foreign-ties, criminal history, and even their roommates.

Most federal agencies require that applicants undergo a security check before they can be hired. However, state or local officials whose duties require that they have access to classified information may also need to apply for a security clearance.

Background Checks to Protect National security

The background check is to ensure that the candidate is trustworthy enough to be granted access to classified information, and doesn’t pose a threat to national security.

An applicant must meet certain criteria in regards to their honesty, moral character, integrity, judgement, and association with questionable characters and foreign nationals.

Criminal behavior, drug use, defaulted student loans, neglected financial obligations, the failure to pay taxes, and even antidepressant use are all key issues of concern during a background check.

Could a DUI raise a concern?

Could habitual drunkenness or a DUI raise a concern? In a word, yes. If an applicant has a drinking problem, it could cause concerns about “questionable judgement.” The reason is because drinking can increase the risk of leaking classified information.

Alcohol-related concerns that could lead to disqualification:

  • Drinking on the job.
  • A conviction of driving under the influence (DUI).
  • Reporting for duty while impaired or intoxicated.
  • Diagnosis of alcohol dependence or abuse.
  • An evaluation of alcohol dependence by a licensed clinical social worker.
  • Drinking alcohol after completing a rehabilitation program.

There are several factors that can help mitigate security concerns; for example, proof that the DUI was an isolated incident, proof that it was an old DUI, the successful completion of a rehabilitation program, and positive changes that indicate sobriety to name a few.

Call the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc.

If you are concerned about how a DUI arrest might affect your application for a security clearance, contact an Orange County DUI attorney from the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. at once!