For individuals with a security clearance, a DUI charge can be particularly unnerving. That’s because they are likely concerned with how an arrest or conviction will affect their security clearance eligibility when it’s due for review.
Fortunately, an attorney with specific experience in this matter can help you take the appropriate steps to maintain your security clearance.
So, how does a DUI affect your security clearance?
Here’s what you need to know about the five guidelines that pertain to DUI and may call into question a person’s judgement, trustworthiness, and occupational and social functioning.
1. Personal Conduct – Guideline E
This guideline addresses concerns about concealment or falsification of information. Therefore, in many cases, it’s advisable to immediately disclose your DUI arrest to your employer and provide pertinent facts.
However, you also have the right to avoid self-incrimination, so don’t reveal details that could be used against you.
2. Excessive Alcohol Consumption – Guideline G
For individuals wondering how does a DUI affect your security clearance, this guideline specifically states that DUI is a security concern.
Nevertheless, its impact on your security clearance can be mitigated my several factors. These include:
1. Passage of time, demonstrating that DUI was an isolated event.
2. Completion of an inpatient or outpatient alcohol rehabilitation program.
3. Participation in Alcoholics Anonymous.
4. Abstaining from alcohol.
3. Drug Involvement – Guideline H
For individuals with access to classified information, drug use, with or without a DUI, presents a security concern. This concern can also be assuaged in a similar manner as excessive alcohol consumption and by addressing any dependency issues.
4. Emotional, Mental and Personality Disorders – Guideline I
Emotional, mental, and personality disorders have the potential to negatively impact a person’s psychological, social, and occupational functioning and may demonstrate a defect in judgement.
In relation to DUI, individuals dealing with these types of issues may turn to alcohol and/or drugs to self-medicate. Therefore, it’s important to seek professional help if you are dealing with major life changes, like death of a loved-one, a medical condition, or financial difficulties.
5. Criminal Conduct – Guideline J
The seriousness and pattern of criminal behavior is of greatest concern when discussing this guideline. So, while a DUI manslaughter charge may be problematic to your security clearance, a lesser charge is unlikely to be a threat.
Especially if it’s an isolated incident, you were acquitted, or have demonstrated that the factors leading up to your DUI are no longer an issue.