Alcohol Usage Underage

Hey all, I had my investigation interview recently and when asked if I plan to continue underage drinking, I honestly answered yes but that I would not go overboard (not black out / not drink to the point of throwing up etc). Obviously, I should’ve mentioned that I would stop if the clearance required me to, but my question now is should I follow up with the investigator to emphasize this? I basically told her “Yeah, I would” and when further prompted mentioned I don’t really see it as a problem. Did I just sink myself? Should I text her? I have her contact info so she said I should reach out if I have any more questions.

You cannot change testimony already given. If you were to contact your investigator and give additional testimony it would go into a separate, additional report. That means the adjudicator will still see what was originally said, then the adjudicator will see that your testimony changed. I cannot tell you what the adjudicator will make of that, I can only tell you what the reporting requirements are.

What I said initially wasn’t a lie, I would just be supplementing it with the information that I am willing to stop if necessary. Do you think I should follow up with the investigator?

As an investigator I don’t have the authority to answer questions about adjudications all I can do is point out the obvious in your testimony. In your original testimony you stated that you did not see a problem with underage drinking which translates into you don’t see a problem with breaking the law if it benefits you which translates into a security risk. Will attempting to recontact the investigator to remove your foot from your mouth make a difference? I don’t know. I’m not sure the investigator would even take the call since your testimony has already been given. Asking a question and trying to give additional testimony is not the same. Good luck with that though.


I’m confused. You are currently an underage person? There are several states (Wisconsin being one of them) that allow underage drinking with a parent or spouse. There are no federal laws regarding underage consumption.

1 Like

I feel like this is a bit of an insane logical jump. Drinking in college for fun equating to a security risk because I’m supposedly breaking the law for my benefit seems like a ridiculous reason for denial. The magnitude of crime should be taken into consideration, no?

Believe me or not, your choice. I’m just telling you what it looks like. No skin off my nose, I got my clearance.


Thanks for the advice, and yes I’m an idiot, I know. I followed up and committed to not drinking until I turn 21 and not breaking the law. Hopefully this reverses or mitigates the damage I did by saying I’d continue.

Demonstrating one disregards laws they think are minor…translates to “can we trust you to follow security rules?” Would you post TS material in a game chat? Just happened. A demonstrated record of breaking the law…is factual.


It would be interesting to get the opinion of an adjudicator on this. I have done reinvestigations on people who had multiple MIPs and yet got their clearance the first time around. One guy had two MIPs in one weekend. And I know I disregard “minor” speed limit laws just about every time I drive and I would tell anyone I plan to disregard speed limit laws in the future.

1 Like

A few things to ask though, how far removed are they from the MIPS? Are these 5, 10, 15 years ago? The author indicated they are still underage and planned to continue to break the law. Your example of driving over the speed limit does not relate due to alcohol issues are of greater significance which is why they are EVER questions. So to take an “ever” issue that breaks the law and say it is no big deal and I intend to keep on doing it probably is not the best approach. I feel pretty confident an adjudicator would agree.

Maybe I wasn’t clear, because you missed my point. I’m not wondering how an adjudicator views alcohol offenses vs traffic offenses— that’s spelled out pretty clearly in the guidelines. What I’m wondering is how an adjudicator would view a Subject who gets caught once and says that he/she would do it again, as opposed to a Subject who gets caught once, swears they will never do it again, and then gets caught breaking the same rules two more times. I think we’ve all seen cleared people who have repeated offenses to include some with repeat offenses while they are cleared. Does saying that you would willingly break a rule again (drinking under age in the case of the OP) carry more negative weight then demonstrating by action that you have in fact broken the same rule again?

I made a commitment to the investigator that I would not drink until 21. Additionally, the alcohol questions are 7 year, not ever, questions.

Section 22 Police Record: The EXACT question… “Have you EVER been charged with an offense involving alcohol or drugs?” Don’t try to argue with an investigator, we literally have the SF86 saved on our computer to reference. You won’t win that battle.

The incident that prompted this discussion with my investigator wasn’t about a run in with the police. Nothing is on my police record, I’ve never been arrested or charged— it’s completely clear.

1 Like

That’s nice, but you’ll still get flagged for self-admitted criminal behavior. Will all this affect you in the long run? Probably not. Does it make you look good that you keep changing your answers and arguing that it’s no big deal? Not at all.

1 Like

I have never worked as an adjudicator and I don’t profess to be a know it all, but if I had to bet I would say that you will be cleared. Good luck and let us know how it turns it. Also, is this for the military? TS or S? The military is really struggling to recruit right now. If DCSA is going to start bouncing every potential grunt who admits they might have a few beers again before they turn 21 in a T3, it’s only going to get tougher to maintain combat readiness.


Traffic scofflaws are not part of clearances. Alcohol incidents are.

Again :slight_smile:

41 year’s cleared perspective. 15 recent years experience working clearances…

Being honest about underage drinking? Thats a Positive. Speaks to honesty.
Openly admitting you will not honor the law? Though honest…its viewed as a negative.

People will routinely admit minor non legals, express a desire to put it behind them, mature. With enough time…it self mitigates. I’ll use Marijuana as an analogy. Its not legal on a federal level, even if your state allows. People experiment. If 12 to 18 months pass, and they express understanding that following rules is important and will be honored…that is viewed positively.

But openly stating you are aware of the law and you will continue to violate it is different. It communicates you are a law/rule breaker and will continue as such.

Saying you will abstain, but later admitting you did it 2 more times…is still wrong but not viewed as bad as one plainly stating they do not follow rules…and will continue to not follow rules.

It begs the question "would they follow rules on classified material? " Would they post on Discord? If they accidentally brought a cell phone to a SCIF…woukd they continue to do so?

Its one thing if an adjudication has to determine if a person will followcrules. Entirely another when your own words are “Yes, I’m gonna keep violating laws”

1 Like