Canada with DUI

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DUI Canada entry

Canadian immigration lawyer focused on Canada DUI entry from USA. We offer free comprehensive consultations (unlike most companies who demand a retainer before assessing your options).

Can You Travel to Canada with DWAI?

DWAI, short for driving while ability impaired, is considered a lower-level offense than DWI or DUI but is treated the exact same under Canadian immigration law. For this reason, anyone who has a DWAI may be criminally inadmissible to Canada unless he or she has been issued special permission. There are two ways to receive permission to cross the border with a DWAI. A Canada Temporary Resident Permit enables a person to overcome their criminal inadmissibility on a short term basis, while Criminal Rehabilitation allows someone to fix the problem permanently. A Temporary Resident Permit, also called a Canada TRP, can be good for up to 3 years (several entries) or for as little as one day (single entry). Criminal Rehabilitation (CR) will permit an individual with a DWAI to travel to Canada for the rest of their life.

If you have a DWAI and wish to enter Canada, phone our team now for a free extensive consultation with a Canadian immigration lawyer.

It is fairly common for a first-offense impaired driving charge to be pled down to a DWAI. Even though a DWAI is not a criminal conviction, it is visible to Canadian border officials and still equates to a full DUI in Canada which means it is an excludable offense. Consequently, even a single DWAI infraction can result in an American being turned away while attempting to enter Canada.

New York DWAI

In New York state, anyone operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.08 may be charged with driving while intoxicated or DWI. Anyone operating a motor vehicle while impaired but with a blood alcohol content (BAC) between 0.05 and 0.08 may be charged with driving while ability impaired. Even though a first-time DWAI conviction is not criminal in New York, the Canadian equivalent is still a hybrid offense with the potential to be indictable, and can therefore render a person ineligible to cross the border without a Canada TRP or CR. A first offense DWAI in New York often involves a fine of $500 - $2000, as well as a license suspension for 90 days.

Colorado DWAI

In the State of Colorado, if a driver is impaired "to the slightest degree" and a blood or breath test result is .05% to .08% they will likely get a DWAI charge. If the breathalyzer result is above .08 the driver will get a full blown DUI. In Colorado, if a person's BAC was below 0.08% and there is zero indication of drug use, the DMV will not revoke the driver's license. Penalties for subsequent convictions can include up to 180 days imprisonment.

If you have a D.W.A.I or driving while ability impaired violation on your record, crossing the Canadian border can result in you being denied entry. Canada has full access to American criminal and motor vehicle databases, and they can often see your DWAI arrest as soon as it happens. Even if you are awaiting trial and have not yet received a DWAI violation, you may not be permitted entry into Canada after the initial arrest occurs unless you have special permission or can prove a favorable court ruling.

Deemed Rehabilitation

If you have a single DWAI in New York State or Colorado, you may eventually be considered deemed rehabilitated under Canadian law and no longer require a TRP or Rehabilitation in order to avoid a potential refusal at the Canadian border. If you have no other criminal convictions or impaired driving violations, you may become admissible to Canada once ten years has elapsed following full completion of all sentencing related to the DWAI (such as payment of any fines and participation in any court-mandated classes or programs).

If you have a DWAI or other alcohol related driving infringement and need to go to Canada, contact our team today.

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If you have a DUI arrest or conviction on your record and need to enter Canada, call us now or fill out this form! 24 Hour Response Time!