According to Statistics Canada, impaired driving has been considered a criminal act since 1921 and is the leading cause of criminal death in the country. If you are operating a motor vehicle and your blood level is more than 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, you will receive an impaired driving charge. In certain cases, your blood level may be lower but you might still be charged with impaired driving because you were driving dangerously.
If you are charged and convicted of impaired driving, you may get off with a fine for the first offence, but the penalty will get worse with subsequent offences. Also, your conviction will be noted on your criminal record, and you may have issues finding employment, volunteering or renting apartments. Another area of concern for people that have been convicted of a DUI is traveling out of the country.
Traveling with a Criminal Record
When you have a criminal record and want to cross the border into the United States, there is always a chance that you may be denied access. Even if you have received a record suspension here in Canada, US immigration officials can still decline to let you enter if they have refused you in the past. The nature of your crime or crimes is often the precipitating factor that will seal your fate at the border, but what about trying to cross with a DUI?
Crossing the Border with One DUI
If you have one DUI charge on your record, chances are you will be allowed to cross the border into the US without incident. It will show up to border officials as a DUI, and typically they don’t consider this type of charge as serious as others. Of course, if you have a single DUI plus other offences on your record, you may be inadmissible, even if the other convictions are relatively minor.
Attempting to Cross with Multiple DUIs
If you have more than one conviction for driving while impaired, you will likely find yourself on the outside looking in when you get to the border. Even if they consider a DUI minor compared to other crimes, someone with multiple offences obviously doesn’t take the laws seriously and doesn’t value the lives of other drivers. If you fall into such a category, you will need to explore other options in order to travel to the United States.
US Entry Waivers
If you have been refused entry, obtaining a US Entry Waiver is one way you can circumvent the system and travel into the US despite your multiple impaired convictions. This document is issued by the Department of Homeland Security in the United States, and it will ensure you aren’t held back at the border. The solution is a basic one, but the process is anything but simple and requires a range of steps.
You will need to fill out the required request forms, you will need your proof of Canadian citizenship, fingerprints, police records, character references, statements about why you want to travel to the US, documents that prove rehabilitation, and statements about the nature of your arrests. The process can be lengthy and extremely detailed, and if you miss even one component, it will delay your chances of getting the waiver you want.
This is why so many people who seek a US Entry Waiver end up finding professionals to take care of all the details for them. At Pardons Canada, we have a wealth of experience securing Record Suspensions and US Entry Waivers for people from all walks of life. Our job isn’t to judge your situation, only to take the steps that will allow you to travel to the United States despite your criminal record. If you have one or more DUIs or a more serious criminal record and need help, give us a call today.