Can a DUI Restrict Me From Crossing the Border?
In Canada, driving while under the influence is a hybrid offense meaning you may be convicted of a minor or felony offense. Records are kept even after you have obtained a pardon. This affects your professional and personal opportunities and also able to travel to Canada if you are not a Canadian. This is the country where the law is severe and very strict compared to nations across the border such as the US. Impaired drivers are regarded as dangerous as DUI offense concerns public safety, which is a national priority in Canada.
From US to Canada
If you are from the US and convicted of DUI, crossing the border to Canada is complicated. It is common for people to pass from Michigan to Canada for business or holiday but a single conviction of drunk and driving complicates your ability to travel to Canada. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act governs Canadian inadmissibility. It states that Michigan residents cannot cross the border to Canada if they have committed any indictable offense which includes drunk driving.
Michigan to Canada
If you have multiple DUI convictions in Michigan, you have to wait ten years before you can apply to visit Canada under rehabilitation status. Five years is for people with a single DUI offense. Those who cannot wait, they can use for a temporary resident permit, which is a costly process. You pay from $200 up to $1000. It is advisable to apply for it six months before your trip to Canada because you are not guaranteed success.
Alcohol and Drug Quantities
In Canada, anyone operating any vessel, vehicle, aircraft, vessel or railway equipment while drunk is should be arrested. The Criminal Code of Canada section 253 states that anyone who has more than 80 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood or cannot control and operate any motor vehicle due to alcohol or drugs impairment should be arrested and charged. If you are found with the high amount of alcohol in the blood, you are likely to get a summary conviction. This may result in a jail term of six months or a fine of $5000 or even more. In some cases, both punishments may be given.
Driving License Suspension
DUI offense in Canada may also result in driving license suspension. Your life is interrupted, and you cannot do simple tasks such as dropping kids to school, visiting your doctor or going to work without asking someone to drive you. The license suspension may be as long as three months, and if you fail to take the sobriety test, it may be even longer.
Insurance rates also go up after DUI conviction. In some situations, an insurance company may cancel the policy if you are convicted several times due to drunken driving.
As a US resident and your case are dismissed, you can quickly get into Canada. However, if it’s reduced to reckless driving or impaired driving, it will affect your ability to travel to Canada. On the other hand, if it’s reduced to careless driving, you will be allowed to Canada without problems.
When planning to visit Canada after being arrested and convicted of DUI, please contact a reputable immigration lawyer to assist you.