Traveling After a DUI
Many of the consequences and lasting effects that come along with obtaining a DUI charge are fairly obvious. However, there are some hidden and longer lasting consequences that may come as a shock to offenders. One of these hidden consequences is the restrictions placed upon one’s ability to immigrate and even travel to other countries.
In the unfortunate event that you find yourself convicted of a DUI charge in the United States with future plans to travel outside the country, it is important to understand the rules and restrictions in place within the countries in which you will be traveling to. It is especially important to determine whether they consider a DUI charge as probable cause to deny entry into their country.
DUI Effects on US Travel
Americans who look to travel throughout the United States with a DUI on their record, will not face any travel restrictions. This means Americans with a DUI are free to travel from state to state without facing repercussions directly related to their travels.
However, it is important to take care of any pending DUI charges before any traveling takes place. This will eliminate the possibility of facing any larger fines and more trouble down the road.
Places That Allow DUI Travel
- With their constantly changing laws, Mexico can pose to be a fairly unpredictable country to travel to. This is especially true when it comes to their restrictions upon entering with a DUI. In general, a misdemeanor DUI charge does not pose a threat to one’s entrance into Mexico. However, a felony DUI conviction has the ability to provide reason for exclusion. Mexico aims to prevent entry only for those with a history of serious crimes. While Mexico does not currently deem a DUI as a serious crime, permission to enter depends mostly on the judgment of an immigrant official.
- The countries that make up the European Union have yet to classify a DUI conviction as a prohibited offense. This means that even with a DUI conviction, any country apart of the European Union will permit travel.
- New Zealand and Australia both possess similar travel restrictions as Mexico and Europe. Both countries are fairly lenient when it comes to admitting those convicted of a DUI. As long as those wanting to enter did not receive a prison sentence lasting over a year, for a DUI, their entrance is generally permitted.
Places That Restrict DUI Travel
- Canada is a country with some of the most stringent restrictions concerning the admission of those with criminal convictions. In Canada, this specifically includes a DUI arrest, it even includes a DUI misdemeanor. However, this decision is ultimately contingent on the individual discretion of a Canadian immigration officer.
- Individuals who have a DUI conviction, are able to apply for a waiver before traveling to Canada. Canada provides two separate applications for those who obtained DUI convictions. The first is a criminal rehabilitation waiver that is available five years after completion of one’s DUI sentence. If it has been fewer than five years since completing ones DUI sentence, Canada offers a temporary resident waiver. This grants temporary residency to an individual, allowing them a specific purpose in which they could travel to Canada for.
- Several Asian countries impose relatively strict travel restrictions in regard to those traveling with a DUI. Some of these countries include prominent travel destinations such as Japan, China, and Malaysia. Within these countries, a DUI conviction only has to be at the misdemeanor level for them to deny any travelers entrance.
- Upon travel to most Asian countries, it is a requirement that travelers disclose any and all DUI arrests and/or convictions. Not disclosing a DUI conviction here, is typically viewed as a more severe crime than the DUI conviction itself.
The Middle East
- Islamic law condemns the consumption of alcohol entirely. Due to this, many countries in the Middle East prohibit the admittance of anyone with a DUI on record. Permission to enter in most of the Middle East is contingent on the discretion of immigration officials and reporting a DUI record can and will greatly prevent the receiving of permission to enter.
What To Do?
If you find yourself in the position of a DUI arrest, contact a DUI specialist as soon as possible to ensure your specific situation is taken care of as efficiently as possible. However, if you have plans to travel shortly after a DUI conviction, you should consult a DUI specialist again to ensure you are either freely able to travel to the destinations in which you are headed or you are able to correctly qualify for travel within the certain countries in which strict DUI travel restrictions are imposed.
If you find yourself in a situation involving a DUI in the greater San Diego area, you must contact a DUI lawyer immediately. Rick Mueller, California DUI Lawyers Association Specialist, native to the greater San Diego area, has a proven track record, to ensure that you get the best possible outcome for your specific scenario and help to guide you through the aftermath as well.
Traveling After a DUI