Travelling to the States with a DUI?

A couple of friends and I are planning a trip down to California around Christmas time. One of the girls (no, honestly, not me) recieved a DUI in the spring; her license was suspended for a month and has since been reinstated. Is this going to be a problem when crossing the US border? Thanks very much.

The last place I worked at, a co-worker went with 3 other friends to the States on a golf weekend. One of the guys got turned back at the boarder due to a previous DWI. This happened a few years back.

I personally, although not proud of the fact, was charges in my mid-twenties with DWI. No car crash, or injuries, or anything, just a routine stop on the way home from a golf game. I have been in numerous states, by car, bus, plane, etc. since but have never been denied access, and I have no idea why. And thankfully since my travel has primarily been work-related and the personal embarrassment would have been huge.

The last place I worked at, a co-worker went with 3 other friends to the States on a golf weekend. One of the guys got turned back at the boarder due to a previous DWI. This happened a few years back. (These guys were executives!)

I personally, although not proud of the fact, was charges in my mid-twenties with DWI. No car crash, or injuries, or anything, just a routine stop on the way home from a golf game. I have been in numerous states, by car, bus, plane, etc. since but have never been denied access, and I have no idea why. And thankfully since my travel has primarily been work-related and the personal embarrassment would have been huge.

I beleive that the US started doing that in retaliation for Canada doing that to US citizens going into Canada.

Another friend of mine flew down to Las Vegas earlier this year - he’d recieved an Impaired in Summer 2004, but had no problem at Customs.

I wonder if there’s anyone we can contact for some sort of answer?

You mean like the US State Department? I’m fairly sure we have an embassy in Canada. Somewhere. :slight_smile:

There’s an Embassy in Vancouver, I’m pretty sure. I’ll admit to not thinking of calling them since I’ve never really been sure what the job of the embassy is. :confused:

According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the answer is that a DUI is not grounds for inadmissability. At least as of that writing. I poked around in the Immigration & Nationality Act a little as well, and found that the U.S. only denies entry to those who have been convicted of a “crime of moral turpitude”; my hazy understanding of this phrase is that it would not include a DUI conviction. Perhaps one of our resident legal eagles could elaborate?

On preview: yeah, contact the U.S. consulate in Vancouver if you want to make sure. One of the reasons they’re there is to provide information to Canadians who want to travel to the U.S.

Sorry for the double-post - I just called ICBC, and according to the person I spoke with and her logic, since it was only a one-month suspension, it must not have been a Criminal Code of Canada violation, so it shouldn’t affect any travel. Which doesn’t explain what happened to **leaffan’s ** former co-worker, unless he’d been convicted of driving while his license was suspended or something.

Now why am I the only person on this trip worrying about this, when it doesn’t even effect me? Who knows.

I can’t imagine any reason someone with a single DUI would be prohibited from entry. Might be different if you have 3 or 4, or anything involving narcotics. But a single incident? Nah, we’ll still take your money. :slight_smile:

And not just ANY citizen . . . http://www.dui-dwi.com/dui-drunk-driving-arrest-consequences.html

To help Canucks trying to travel to their southern neighbors and help Americans who do stupid shit in Canada and get arrested.

You are aware that Canada does exactly that, aren’t you?

How do you mean? Canada won’t allow an American in with a DUI on his record.

Exactly. See the link above.

Okay, first off, there’s a Consulate in Vancouver, the Embassy is in Ottawa, as Embassies are only located in capital cities of countries.

Second, if you’ve committed a crime in the USA in the past there is a chance that upon your next application to enter the states that you will be denied entry, depending on the nature of the offense and your current status in the legal system. Since Canadians don’t need visas (yet) to enter the states for tourism, we rely on the information contained in your passport, DL or declaration form.

I’d call the Consulate in Vancouver or have your friend do the same and see what they say; not knowing about our current stance on our northern cousins; I can’t give a more informed opinion.

False_God
Vice Consul, US Embassy Lima, Peru

On the other hand, if you’d been born here in the States and gotten a DUI, we’d probably make you president or vice president - ours have 5 drunk driving arrests between them.

Depends on how the state law under which the person is convicted was written. IANAL, but there is quite a lot of variation among state statutes. DWI is one thing, but sometimes people aren’t really clear on what exactly they’ve been convicted of. I once had a client tell me he’d been in a traffic accident, but he’d actually been charged with manslaughter.

Eva Luna, Immigration Paralegal

Eva Luna hit the nail on this one. Wheter a DUI is considered a “crime of moral turpitude” is totally up to the state on which the crime happened. In Ohio, I know for a fact, that you cannot get a felony conviction expunged if you have a prior DUI offense. Even though a DUI is not a felony. In Indiana you can. It’s a gray area concerning states rights to define what a “crime of moral turpitude” is. Perhaps California has (a probably does) have thier own set of standards to define expungment and record sealing. Your friend needs to consult with a lawyer in his specific jurisdiction to take care of this matter. It could be that the paperwork hasn’t been executed properly at that court house. They get busy, and sometimes let things slip until someone compains . . .

From my understanding, an expungment is supposed to be a sealing of the record of the crime. If this wasn’t done then the individual needs to ask why.

Duh, I responed to the wrong thread. There is another thread where someone in California was asking questions about expungment. Sorry, my bad. :smack: