Multiple DUIs and secret clearance

After losing a parent, I had 3 DUIs in 4 years while active duty with the last one being a little over 4 years ago. I volunteered for and successfully completed an in patient alcohol treatment program. I just had an interview for my secret clearance renewal and admitted it all even though I didn’t know I needed to report it when it happened. Since then I’ve drank a few times a year and only a couple drinks. I admitted this as well. I also acknowledged that Ive actively been attending AA mtgs and work with a sponsor. How bad or good are my chances of getting a renewal?

There are many issues at play here and most likely will result in your getting a statement of reasons or a letter or interrogatory to provide additional information. Can you really blame three separate incidents of DUI over four years on grieving for a lost parent? One or even two, but any more than that would be stretching it. The fact that you did not report any of these is actually the more serious issue as the trust and reliability of current clearance holders to self report is one of the tenants of the continuous evaluation process. Considering the fact that your initial clearance briefing and subsequent annual refresher briefing should have included this requirement, it is a far reach to believe you didn’t know. I would start preparing yourself to answer questions and provide mitigation about the alcohol abuse/criminal conduct and failure to report.

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What is a statement of reasons?

A letter outlining the reasons for the intent to revoke your eligibility for a clearance.

Did all of these occur on active duty while you had a Secret clearance? Were any of these referred to the Personnel Security office? I can only speak to Air Force experience managing the Personnel,Info and Industrial programs at a nuclear base. The base police blotters were reviewed daily for any reportable incidents or arrests. From there the commanding officer was notified and there was an option (circa 96-97) to open a derogatory reporting/Unfavorable Information file. I would find it surprising the military did not report these with or without you. Were you referred by the unit for their alcohol programs? Marko is right the self reporting aspect is huge. It alone mitigates a lot of bad conduct. However, with 4 years passing and treatment you may make at least a defensible argument you had a problem, dealt with it, and continue to use discretion. I wouldn’t try to attach the loss of a parent to the 3 DUI’s either. But if there was a bad path you were on for a period of time and you can clearly articulate you recognized it and turned your life around…it can help. I have see folks cleared to TS full scope poly with 2 DUI’s in 2 years.

They happened while active duty. However I did not disclose them to my chain of command as they happened off base. Had I disclosed after the first one I would have gotten into treatment sooner and not experienced the others.

Yes I had a secret clearance at the time. I really didn’t have a clue to report them. I never got a briefing with my original clearance back in '97. All we knew was if we could work on the flight line our clearance was good. The reason I didn’t tell my work about the DUIs was to avoid self incrimination. Bad idea obviously.

One definitely must slow down and read the criminal history portion carefully and make sure the 7 year or 10 year rule isnt’ applied.

In anticipation of further questions or an SOR, I would begin putting together a list of what you have done to address this issue (ie. going to AA, etc). Also, I would identify possible witnesses who can provide a statement as part of any response/appeal, should you get an SOR. Better to take the time now to put it together than to scramble later (and possibly forget something). Having it ready will help you or your counsel later.


Good advice. Some things take time to get together.