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How will a DUI conviction affect your security clearance?

A conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol is quite serious in the state of Oklahoma, even if it is your first offense.

It can be a more complicated issue if you have a government job that requires a security clearance. With a DUI mark on your record, you may have to think about changing careers.

A first offense

IRS tax agents, federal prosecutors, federal marshals and FBI and CIA agents are among those who require security clearances. In granting such clearances, the federal government applies the “whole-person” concept, which means that your entire record will be under review, even after you get the job. While such employers do not view a DUI conviction favorably, a single incident will probably not affect your clearance status.

Second offense difficulties

The government takes a dim view of repeated offenses. You may pay your fines, attend alcohol education classes and swear under oath that you will never drive drunk again. However, the fact that you have received a DUI conviction for the second time will raise red flags. Whether you work directly for the federal government or as a licensed contractor, your employer may have concerns that you have an alcohol abuse problem. Your ability to deal with confidential and classified information properly may be in doubt because of these marks on your record.

Keep in mind that the government handles alcohol consumption as a separate adjudicative matter in terms of security clearance procedures.

Seeking help

The first order of business will be getting your driver’s license reinstated if your arrest resulted in a suspension. The next step will be mitigating the other penalties. The overall effort will be geared toward the effect of the DUI conviction on your career and the need to retain your security clearance. Working toward the best possible outcome for your case will be the focus of your defense.


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