Department of Energy Clearance Applicants and Alcohol Consumption Concerns

A large number of the Department of Energy (DOE) security clearance appeals cases involve denials under Guideline G – Alcohol Consumption. As such, the DOE has a staff of psychologists on hand that evaluate security clearance applicants for various psychological disorders, to include Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD). Just last month, the DOE appeals board heard ten cases involving concerns over the applicant’s use of alcohol. Here are some highlights of the cases:

  • Applicant was denied clearance eligibility due to being arrested for his sixth driving under the influence (DUI) charge in 2022 and was diagnosed with AUD without any significant rehabilitation.
  • Eligibility was reinstated for an applicant who was arrested for a DUI in 2022 and underwent a psychological evaluation, was abstinent from alcohol for six months, and continued enrollment in a counseling program.
  • Applicant was arrested for DUI in 2022, was diagnosed with AUD, completed rehabilitation and Phosphatidyl ethanol (Peth) testing for twelve months. The DOE psychologist provided a favorable prognosis and clearance eligibility was reinstated.
  • After self-reporting enrollment in an alcohol counseling program and evaluation by a DOE psychologist, the applicant mitigated the AUD concerns and had her clearance reinstated.
  • Applicant was arrested for criminal conduct involving alcohol consumption on three separate occasions. He was diagnosed as having a mild form of AUD and Traumatic Brain Injury from a motorcycle accident. He was granted eligibility by the DOE judge based on being abstinent for 6 months since the last arrest, completed an outpatient counseling program, and a favorable prognosis by the DOE psychologist.

The key factors in all of these cases were that the applicants were honest and forthcoming, completed recommended rehabilitation, practiced abstinence, and had a positive prognosis regarding future alcohol use concerns.