Past drug and alcohol issues. Chances of obtaining secret clearance

I recently accepted a summer internship with a company that if I get hired on full time will want me to obtain a security clearance. When I was 17-20 I did a lot of partying with high school friends. I was arrested twice for DUI and have 2 possession of marijuana charges on my record. I had to go through probation and 10 days of house arrest over this 3-year time period. I completed everything around 20, and I believe that completion of the probation resulted in no convictions. I am now 32 and I no longer associate with any of those people. I have not gotten into any legal trouble and held a construction job for a 10 year period. The last two years I have been working towards a bachelor degree in engineering. I’m married and I no longer use drugs. I still occasionally drink alcohol. I probably wouldn’t have to get the clearance for at least another year. Do I even have a chance at getting a secret clearance? I don’t think these previous arrests will show up on a company background check and I’m wondering if I should notify the company about them to see if they want to move forward. I have had other interview requests with companies that would not require I obtain a clearance. I don’t want to waste this company’s time by going through the internship, being offered a full-time position only to find out I won’t get clearance and cannot work there.

You are going to have to report the arrests on your SF86 when you apply for a clearance. But, the ten years clean and your age at the time of your drug use should be more than enough to mitigate the issue for an engineering position.

You shouldn’t have any trouble but it can still take 18 months to get through the clearance process.

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Concur with Ed. Report the items, hide nothing, and don’t worry about them. Make sure the finances are uptight to eliminate the other area of vulnerability. I think the drug issues are mitigated with time and lifestyle changes.


Thanks for your reply. I don’t have any finance issues and I won’t have any other issues with the other sections that I saw on the SF86

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You absolutely have a chance. Report everything even if it’s outside of the “coverage period”. Honesty is the best policy. As a BI, some things come up even outside the coverage period during the investigation. It makes it easier during the investigation if you put it all into the SF86 rather than scrambling to remember dates/circumstances come the day of your interview. Be sure to obtain all relevant dates and information. That makes it a lot easier. Adjudicators look at the timelines too. They’ll see it happened over ten years ago. Everything gets taken into consideration! Good luck!

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Wow. sounds a lot like my situation. except having to get TS clearance. just diff charges. only been arrested once but 7 years ago.