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dui and security clearances

Will a DUI Prevent Me from Getting a Security Clearance?

Whether a government job, working for TSA, joining the military, NASA, working for a contractor, or even the IRS, you will be required to obtain and maintain a security clearance as a condition of employment. A security clearance not only assures the employer you are a solid citizen, but the government or agency wants to make sure there are not any underlying criminal, personal, or civil issues that can be used to compromise you if you are reckless with sensitive, classified information.

In exchange for meaningful and well-compensated employment, the employer, whether military, civilian, or a private contractor, will get the whole picture of their prospective employee.

Any sort of criminal conviction or even a charge can adversely impact your job prospects if you have applied for a job that requires a security clearance. If you are already employed, your livelihood may be in jeopardy if you are charged with a crime.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is considered a crime in Alabama. And while a first offense is usually a misdemeanor, it may not be sufficient grounds to deny a security clearance or take away one that is in existence. However, the real problems start when additional infractions occur.

When filling out a job application in Alabama that will require a security clearance, you will not be cleared if you have ever been convicted of a crime. In Alabama, the record is permanent and cannot be expunged from your record.  

You would be wise to seek the counsel of experienced criminal defense attorney, Jason Darley, to explore your options when a security clearance has been denied or revoked. Better yet, you should take steps to prevent the situation from getting to that point by doing everything possible to avoid a criminal conviction.

DUI in Alabama

DUI laws in Alabama can result in a charge of Driving Under the Influence if your blood alcohol content (BAC) registers 0.08% or above.

There is a difference between a one-time DUI ticket, or multiple incidents. In Alabama, a DUI conviction can bring you one year in jail and a fine. In fact, if you are convicted of repeated DUIs, you likely will lose your ability to drive and be required to enter an alcohol or addiction rehabilitation program.

Egregious driving DUI or a high BAC may bring a mandatory ignition interlock device on your vehicle requiring you to prove you are not intoxicated before getting behind the wheel.

A DUI charge may not be enough on its own to knock you out of the running for a security clearance, especially if it was a long time ago. There will be a security review process during which the employer will consider:

  • How long ago was your DUI?
  • How old were you?
  • Any more recent arrests? Even traffic tickets?
  • Divorce, child support, and spousal abuse?
  • Bankruptcy and financial problems?
  • Diagnosis of addiction or being an alcoholic?

The employer will want to ascertain that you do not have an ongoing problem with alcohol and this was a one-time event.

If you successfully completed an alcohol treatment program or a safe driving class, you may find it easier to obtain a security clearance or hold on to the one you already have.

There will be a different degree of difficulty depending on what level of security clearance you are seeking. And the security clearance will have to be renewed every five to 15 years depending on the clearance.

That gives time for any additional infractions to be noted so you do not want to add to one bad mark on your record.

Your Alabama Attorney

The loss of security clearance can have a devasting impact on the finances of a family. Not only does it hurt your income but it can lead to you being barred from receiving a security clearance with another government job.

If you have received your Statement of Reasons, which precedes your revocation or denial of a security clearance, attorney Jason Darley will have questions for you, but it is best to contact him as early as you can in the process.  

If you are facing a DUI charge and concerned you may not be able to obtain a security clearance, we know from experience that your chances are greatly increased when you are represented by an experienced criminal defense lawyer rather than trying to go it alone.

Darley Law, LLC will provide you with the representation you need throughout the adjudicative process. If your DUI was a one-time mistake, Jason Darley can put that in the proper context. Call our office today at (251) 732-7058 or message us online and let him put his years of experience to work for you.

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