Arrest Questions

I’m applying for a secret clearance. nearly 6 years ago I was arrested for DUI. Long story short, it was dismissed. I have a couple of questions relating to questions of the 21 page SF86 from 2008.

Under 22, Police Record, 22e asks “have you ever been charged with any offences related to alcohol or drugs.” of course I answered yes, because I have.

My question is: how do I answer 24a, “has your use of alcohol had a negative impact on your work performance, your professional or personal relationships, your finances, or resulted in intervention by law enforcement/public safety personnel?”

do I say yes or no? what is it asking? my only issue ever for the sake of this form is that I was arrested for DUI. I answered truthfully on 22e. So is 24a asking, say, “have you had the police called on you?” or since I’ve been arrested for DUI does the part about “…intervention by law enforcement…” part apply?


As a Background Investigator with significant experience doing this job, I expect all of the people I investigate to answer yes to Section 24 if they have had a previous arrest or incident where law enforcement intervened in an alcohol related arrest, incident, or citation. If the alcohol related arrest is outside of the seven year timeframe then you are not required to list it. I know it seems redundant to list this DUI again on the form but you should if the arrest occurred within the last seven years because law enforcement did in fact intervene in the incident when you were arrested or cited. The form doesn’t say to “not” list this again if you have already listed this elsewhere on the form so in my opinion it is necessary to answer yes to this question and list all of the pertinent branching questions that will populate. I see far too many applicants not answer yes to this question and then when I ask them why they didn’t answer yes to this again they tell me they didn’t because they didn’t think it was necessary because they listed their DUI elsewhere on the SF-86. They are wrong. It’s necessary. I do wish however that OPM/NBIB would indicate on the form if someone is required to answer this question if they have already answered a similar type of question previously relating to alcohol. Unfortunately the form doesn’t stipulate this.


Thanks for the quick reply!

Let me ask this. I went to alcohol counseling related to the DUI. Does that require me to answer YES to question 21 MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH?

No you would not be required to answer Yes to this question because alcohol counseling is not a mental or emotional health related condition, however in Section 24 it does ask if you have had alcohol related treatment or counseling either voluntarily or if it has been mandated. This is where you would answer Yes to this question in Section 24.

Question please: I am in process for an interim secret clearance and a former neighbor had a warrant out for my arrest since Dec for “trespassing” on his property. This trespassing to leave notes about his dog that continues to bark and he also claims I had an argument with his wife about the dogs on his property…which did not happen. Is this something that could prevent me from getting my interim clearance. I have nothing else on my record.

The neighbor has a warrant for your arrest or the police department? If you have a current warrant for arrest issued by a LE agency then it would certainly have a bearing on receiving a clearance. You need to resolve this ASAP and turn yourself in to officials. It sounds like you may have larger problems than worrying about a clearance right now.

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I’ve been arrested already and waiting for the plea arraignment hearing. The neighbor swore to the affidavit back in Dec and the warrant had been out since then. Thank you.

Let me further explain since it was completely shocking to me, that MS is a nonprobability state which means that anyone can appear before the county clerk and swear to an affidavit which will go before a judge who then issues a warrant for your arrest. Furthermore, it was explained that the judge signs just about every one of these unless completely outrageous to heir on the side of caution. This is why I had a warrant out since Dec for tresspassing that I was not aware of.