One of the chief reasons a DUI can be so damaging is the effect it has on one's career. A convicted DUI can make it extremely difficult to secure gainful employment, but it can also have an effect on a person's job at the time of conviction. This is especially true for those persons who require security clearance to effectively perform their job. Whether you are currently confronting DUI charges or are dealing with the professional ramifications of a DUI conviction, a Cobb County DUI lawyer can help you devise a legal strategy or advise you as to the best course of action as you contend with the DUI. Because of the effect, it can have on security clearance and employment, those charged with DUI may be incredibly concerned about how a DUI charge could affect their livelihood and career. If you have been charged with a DUI in Cobb County, you are advised to immediately consult with an experienced Cobb County DUI attorney.
DUI convictions carry a stigma that can make employers reluctant to hire a candidate with a conviction on his or her record. But for those in fields that do not require a security clearance, the issue is less pressing - it is up to the discretion of each employer whether to hire (or continue the employment) of a candidate with a DUI on their record, provided it doesn't interfere with company policy.
When a security clearance is required, a DUI conviction could make the person potentially unemployable, endangering his or her entire livelihood. Thankfully, a DUI is not actually a one-way ticket to unemployability, and those who need security clearance may still be able to obtain it in the face of their DUI.
Will a DUI Make it Difficult to Get Security Clearance?
If you do not already have security clearance and are currently applying for it, the relative challenge a DUI presents depends on the circumstances of your DUI. Rest assured, it is not a definite deal breaker. You will not necessarily get a hard "no." It depends on how the underlying circumstances of your DUI interact with the federal guidelines dictating how security clearance is granted. Thirteen guidelines in Chapter 13, Section 147 of the Code of Federal Regulations dictate how someone is evaluated for security clearance. A DUI conviction could be relevant in at least five of these guidelines. When taking note of a DUI, the government tries to take a "whole person" approach to the question of security clearance. If your DUI is your only one, and it is an isolated event, and you have otherwise proven yourself as a model citizen, the DUI will be noted but ultimately not a determinant. If the DUI accompanies deeper issues, such as chronic alcohol abuse, the government likes to see active steps taken to address the issue. Such steps could include the completion of a rehabilitation program or willful abstinence.
When determining whether or not to grant a security clearance, the government values candor, good character, and good judgment. If the DUI is accompanied by a pattern of behavior demonstrating poor judgment and dishonesty, these combined factors could see the person ultimately denied a security clearance.