A DUI on record carries some serious implications, whether you’re the driver or passenger. For one, you can be denied entry into Canada.
According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Canadian border officials can block any person with a DUI charge or other crimes under the Criminal Code of Canada from entering the country. Even if you’re just a passenger, Consul Harkiran Rajasansi at the Canadian Consulate in Seattle says passengers are no exemption.
This doesn’t mean you can forget about your Vancouver vacation for good. CIC says there are steps you can take to be allowed passage into the country, such as:
- Deemed rehabilitation – If enough time has passed since your prior conviction, namely a crime punishable by a maximum prison term of less than 10 years in Canada, you can be deemed rehabilitated and allowed into Canada, provided you have the necessary documentation.
- Individual rehabilitation – You can apply for rehab five years after committing the offense, provided that the crime is punishable by a maximum prison term of less than 10 years in Canada.
- Record suspension/discharge – Check with the visa office if a pardon from the U.S. is valid in Canada.
- Temporary resident permit – if less than five years have passed since the completion of your sentence and you have a valid reason to go to Canada, you can apply for a temporary resident permit (again, this should be taken up with the visa offices in the U.S.).
The most effective way, however, is by getting the help of a DUI attorney at Federal Way like Kim E. Hunter, recently declared as a Super Lawyer for her criminal defense work, in expunging a record. While DUI convictions can’t be expunged at this time, lesser crimes like reckless driving can be vacated; thus, the idea is to reduce a DUI charge to reckless driving.
Expungement by reducing a DUI to reckless driving or any lesser crime isn’t easy. Experts say judges often balk at the idea, requiring the defendant’s party to justify the reduction with expert help from a DUI defense lawyer at Federal Way. Nevertheless, a clean record lets you travel to and from Canada with ease if you need to.
(Source: Traffic Q&A: DUI on your record? Entry into Canada may be denied, The News Tribune, March 29, 2015)