Can I Travel Outside of Canada with a DUI?

a tropical island with a sign saying sweet escape

Have you been convicted of a DUI in Alberta – or elsewhere in Canada – and are now worried about whether you’ll be able to travel outside of Canada?

While it would be nice to hear that there are no limitations on travelling internationally with a DUI, that is simply not the case.

Related: The Truth About Impaired Driving Penalties in Alberta

Whether you will be permitted entry to another country will depend on that country’s laws surrounding impaired driving charges as well as various other circumstances such as the nature of your offence and how you present your situation when prompted to do so.

Travelling to the USA with a DUI

When it comes to travelling to the United States from Canada, the border agents will be able to see a number of details surrounding any charges you may have because of an agreement between the United States and Canada to share criminal history information.

Related: How Much Does a “Blow Box” Cost in Alberta?

Typically, if you have received a one-time impaired driving conviction and are trying to enter the USA, you will be granted entry. However, in the case of a more serious situation such as a second DUI or a DUI incident that involved injury to another individual, you may be refused.

At the end of the day, there is no hard and fast rule, and whether you are allowed entry or not will depend on your specific situation.

Tips for Travelling to the USA with a DUI

When you are travelling to the United States with a DUI (or impaired driving) conviction, there are a few things you can do to make the border crossing go more smoothly:

  • Bring legal documentation – Print a copy of your original court documents and transcript of evidence and bring them with you. You can also bring a letter from your general physician stating that you do not have an alcohol dependency.
  • Consider a travel waiver – If you have a DUI and other minor convictions, you will need a travel waiver to present to the Customs Officers: U.S. Entry Waiver I-194.
  • Be honest – Be completely honest with the Customs Officers; getting caught lying will almost certainly guarantee that you are turned away. If you are driving across the border and your driver attempts to help you hide the truth, he or she will also be deemed inadmissible.
  • Be patient – Be patient with the process. If you are honest and have your paperwork and proper identification present, you may have to wait a while for everything to be investigated and cleared.
  • Accept the decision – If you are turned away, don’t attempt re-entry with another officer.

Need Legal Advice?

There’s no hiding that an impaired driving conviction can affect your life very seriously for years to come. If you’re facing DUI charges, it’s important to speak with our DUI Lawyer, Brian McGlashan to receive the trusted, professional legal advice you deserve.