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Robert D. Anderson, PLLC

Former Chief Prosecutor Of Loudoun County

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DUI and your security clearance

On Behalf of | Oct 9, 2019 | Firm News

Government clearance is essential to many Virginia workers due to the high number of jobs in the area that require it. Therefore, anything that puts that clearance in jeopardy may result in a job loss.

Taking to the road after enjoying a few beers may result in the police pulling you over. When you fail to pass sobriety testing and a breathalyzer, you may find yourself on your way to jail for booking. Even if you do not think of your job then, you may start to once you face arraignment. What will happen to your clearance? Find out if a DUI can cause you to lose this vital job component.

A one-time incident

Getting a single DUI is not something that should put your security clearance at risk. It does not speak to a long-standing fault, but instead an isolated loss of judgment. Besides the penalties a court may impose, your employer may also require you to do some remediation. You may have to complete alcohol awareness classes to ensure you do not have an issue with alcohol. These classes do not mark you as an addict. They aim to educate rather than rehabilitate you.

Report the incident to your superior

You may have a long-standing security clearance, which will go in your favor after a DUI. However, if you fail to report the incident immediately to your supervisor per your company’s protocol, you may find yourself facing an inquiry. Trying to hide the event or the outcome may warrant a temporary or permanent revocation of your security clearance. The government may believe your failure to report is indicative of a far-reaching problem instead of a one-time incident.

You work hard to stay on top of things at work. When facing an arrest or conviction for a single misstep, the chances of losing your requisite clearance are slim. However, if you do not follow the proper procedures and report the infraction, you may put yourself out of a job. After an arrest, you may want to contact a local attorney who can help you decide how to proceed.