Is it Possible to Cross the US/Canada Border with a DUI Conviction?

Driving Under the Influence or DUI as it is known, has been considered a criminal act in Canada since 1921. It is also interesting to note that it is the leading cause of wrongful death in the country. Ergo, if you are driving a vehicle and your blood-alcohol level is greater than 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, you will end up with a DUI charge. Furthermore, if your blood-alcohol level is lower than the maximum allowance, but you were driving dangerously, you still stand a good chance of ending up with a DUI charge.

Should you be convicted under the DUI laws and it is your first offence, you will more than likely be fined. However, the penalty for subsequent DUIs will get worse, and you will end up in jail. Furthermore, you will end up with a criminal record which will impair your chances of finding employments, renting a home, volunteering, or travelling out of the country.

Travelling and Criminal Records

There is a chance that you may be denied entry into the United States when you want to cross the Canadian/USA border. A successful Record Suspension application in Canada does not necessarily guarantee that US Customs and Border Protection guards (CBP) will let you into the country if you have been refused entry in the past.

Even if you have received a Canadian Record Suspension, your flagged record will remain in the CBP’s database, and they can still refuse to let you enter the country. The fact of the matter is that the nature of your crime is very often the triggering factor that will determine whether you will be allowed into the USA or not. Ergo, what about one or more DUI convictions?

Crossing the border with one or more DUIs

There is a good chance that you will be allowed to enter the USA with only one DUI conviction on your record. There is no doubt that it will show up when the CBP guard does a background check; however, the CBP does not typically consider one DUI as severe as other criminal convictions. It is important to note that if you have a single DUI plus other crimes on your record, there is a very good chance that you will be denied entry to the USA, even if all of the other convictions are minor.

On the other hand, if you have more than one DUI conviction, there is every chance that the CBP will bar you from entering the USA. Even if a DUI conviction is considered minor compared to other crimes, it shows that someone with multiple offences apparently doesn’t see the need to take a country’s laws seriously and does not value the lives of other people on the roads.

Consequently, if you are in the above situation, you will need to look at other ways to gain entry into the USA.

USA Entry Waivers

Should you be refused entry into the USA, you can apply for a US Entry Waiver which will subsequently allow you to cross the US/Canada border. The US Department of Homeland Security issues the Entry Waiver document. Even though this seems to be a relatively simple solution, the process is complicated with a requisite series of steps. Ergo, this process can take a long time and is extremely detailed in nature. Should you miss one step in the process, your chances of a successful outcome will be delayed.

Therefore, in a nutshell, you are required to fill out the application forms and submit them together will fingerprints, proof of Canadian citizenship, character references, police records, statements about the nature of your arrests and convictions, documents that attest to your rehabilitation, and finally, a number of statements explaining why you want to travel to the United States.