Security Clearance Denial

Drinking on the Job is Not a Good Idea

Going to work slightly drunk from the previous night is one thing, but it is not as egregious as drinking alcohol while on the job. A DoD contractor was denied clearance eligibility due to alcohol abuse and psychological conditions. He subsequently appealed to the Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA). Here are the highlights of the case:

This 51-year-old contractor admitted to consuming alcohol in excess for the last 21 years. He also admitted to being on medication for depression and had seen a psychologist who also addressed his alcohol consumption issues. When David Bowie died in 2016 the contractor was so despondent, he took vodka with him to drink at work. That same day he went and got a case of beer and brought it back to work and drank them all, then tried to drive home while drunk and ended up crashing into a pole. He later admitted that it was not the first time he had drank alcohol at work. During a psychological evaluation the contractor was less than forthcoming about his history of alcohol consumption and at the DOHA hearing, admitted he wasn’t fully truthful because of being embarrassed about his issues with alcohol.

Despite all these issues being brought up in his clearance denial and appeal, the contractor still insisted he does not think he currently has an alcohol problem and stated his intent to keep drinking because he enjoys it. The judge in this case noted the contractor continues to consume alcohol, gets “buzzed” and then drives home. Add in the fact that he was diagnosed as having Alcohol Abuse Disorder and is unwilling to abstain is an indicator of future behavior and conduct and is not consistent with being eligible for access to classified information. Clearance denial upheld. You can read the entire case summary here.


  1. I’ve heard of people getting all kinds of scrutiny for what would appear to be moderate alcohol consumption.

    I don’t think this case counts as “moderate.” Closer to “quite mad.”