You may be barred from traveling overseas to certain countries if you are arrested for drinking and driving. Here’s what to know about international travel restrictions post-DWI and how to defend your rights.
Japan & China
Japan, China, and other Asian countries typically conduct rigorous background checks, and your DWI will almost certainly be discovered regardless of whether you voluntarily disclose it. It is in your best interests to be forthright when dealing with travel authorities regarding your history. In many cases, it’s simply easier to obtain a travel waiver that permits you to visit for 90 or fewer days without needing to apply for a visa.
While having a misdemeanor DWI record is rarely a problem for visitors to South Africa, a felony conviction could be. Even if authorities do not formally request you to submit your criminal record, you are expected to voluntarily submit information about any crimes you were charged with and/or convicted of in the U.S. before crossing the border into South Africa. If you don’t, you’ll likely be denied admittance due to “deception by silence.”
In Mexico, DWI offenders face intense scrutiny; the country has little patience for drunk driving. Foreigners who were convicted of a DWI in the last 10 years are likely to be refused entry into the country. This is because in Mexico, drinking and driving is like a felony. Under the country’s immigration laws, felons are denied admission.
If you have a DWI in the U.S., Canada is one of the most difficult nations to visit outside the states. Drunk driving is also a felony in Canada and anyone convicted of the crime is prohibited from entering the country for five years minimum. If you have a clean criminal record after 5 years, you can undergo a criminal rehabilitation class or pay a $200 fine to gain entry rights. If 10 years pass and you have no additional criminal convictions, Canada considers you then “rehabilitated by time.”
Keep Your Travel Privileges Intact After a DWI With the Help of an Attorney
Ensuring that you don’t lose your rights to travel abroad is just one part of protecting yourself following a DWI arrest. Brooklyn DWI Lawyer Mark Cossuto is an experienced drinking and driving attorney who can help defend you. Contact Attorney Cossuto today for a consultation by calling (718) 852-8047 or toll free at (800) 609-4545.