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Getting a DUI and the impact on your security clearance

On Behalf of | Nov 12, 2023 | DUI Defense |

In Georgia, obtaining security clearance is vital for individuals who work in government roles involving sensitive information. After receiving a DUI (Driving Under the Influence), individuals may experience significant repercussions, including losing their clearance status. The following covers how a DUI can affect your ability to keep or renew your access permissions for sensitive information.

Mandatory reporting

Once you have received security privileges, you are typically required to promptly report a DUI to your respective agency. If you fail to report your DUI and the agency finds out about it in other ways, you could lose your authorized access. Being proactive and reporting the violation shows honesty and candor, which can factor into the decision to let you keep your clearance credentials.

It is not a good idea to assume that one incident will cause the termination of your clearance status. The review process for approval centers on the “whole person” concept, and it will not be clear whether you may lose your authorization until the entire process unfolds.

The legal process

As the court system handles your alcohol-related charge, adjudicators consider various factors to evaluate the outcome of your case. Deciding factors include your personal conduct, criminal conduct and financial responsibility. If you demonstrate remorse, make efforts to participate in a rehabilitation program and commit to responsible behavior, these can help mitigate the impact of a DUI on your work record.

The process also considers patterns. If this is a first DUI, you may have a better chance to keep your security clearance. If you have had multiple DUIs or similar issues, including repeated involvement with law enforcement, it may not be possible for you to pass your restricted access screening. One or more DUIs can also reduce advancement opportunities within government agencies and limit career potential.

Security concerns

A record of impaired judgment, as evidenced by a DUI, can raise concerns about your ability to protect sensitive or classified information. Superiors may see someone who has received a DUI as being susceptible to blackmail or coercion, which poses a severe security risk.

Understanding the impact of a DUI involves taking steps to address it proactively. You can demonstrate that you are serious about moving past an alcohol-related charge and minimize the impact on your clearance status.