I got busted for drinking at 19 -- does that hurt my chances of becoming a cop?

aa-boozeQ: I've been serving in the military for a couple years, and now, I want to become a cop. But, I'm worried that getting in trouble for underage drinking when I was 19, could keep me from wearing a badge. Will that drinking ding on my record affect my chances of becoming a police officer?" -- Ryan A: "Ryan, that's a good question. But first, I want to thank you for your service to our country. We really appreciate that. We are always looking for good people in the law enforcement industry. What I would recommend you do, is you go ahead an apply. Let the agency decide whether that's a bad mark against you. In most cases when people make mistakes and actually learn from those mistakes, especially in this case, a little bit smaller mistakes. But, when they change their lifestyle around and admit to what they've done, that's usually not a problem for law enforcement. In most cases what we're looking for is big, bad things you've done. So, I would definitely go ahead and apply. Figure out what's going on. Let them work with you on that process. I'm pretty sure in your case, you'll be able to make it. But, once again, thank you for your service and it's an excellent question you gave me." -- Everett police Ofc. Aaron Snell