DUIs pose restrictions to travel. Not only will they affect driving in the US, but may prevent you from visiting foreign countries. Here is what you need to know about traveling and DUIs:
DUIs, start to bring trouble for your driving privileges;
Driving in Maryland and the other 49 states with a DUI is possible; And
Traveling abroad with a DUI might not be possible due to international law.
(Quick side note: Traveling outside of the US with a DUImay cause problems or prevent travel. To be certain of any travel restrictions to a country you may visit it is advised youcontact the US Consulate for the most accurate and up-to-date travel restrictions.)
Driving Privileges and a DUI
If your license gets suspended, you won't be able to drive anywhere when you get a DUI. So, you can only go as far as you're willing to Uber or your friends are willing to drive you.
People often find themselves in a situation where they need to drive to work or a family obligation, but they can't due to a suspended license. Unfortunately, you aren't allowed to drive to mandatory places with a suspended license, like a job.
If you are stopped by police while doing so, and your license is suspended, there are serious consequences. Next thing you know, you're back in court for a subsequent violation, and you're not usually eligible for any probationary status.
If you have a CDL for work, this can be challenging for you since you need to drive for work. To avoid getting your license suspended, make sure you quickly put a hearing request in.
Within the first ten days of the suspension, a hearing is scheduled. That hearing happens within the next 30 days. Until the hearing, the suspension is lifted.
Assuming that you legally have your license, interstate travel is permitted with a DUI. The suspension of your license for any period means you cannot legally drive a vehicle.
Since most of the population has jobs and families, courts understand that provisions are necessary to allow people to drive while dealing with a DUI. Those provisions are why Maryland makes individuals put Ignition Interlock Devices, IID, in the vehicle while serving a penalty for a DUI offense.
An IID forces a driver to perform a breathalyzer before starting the vehicle and while driving in the car. These devices let the court keep track of an offender and make sure they are fulfilling the requirements of their DUI penalty. It allows Marylanders to serve their time while still being able to drive.
Traveling within the contiguous 48 states is plausible when dealing with a DUI, but travel outside of US borders may prove difficult.
Can You Still Travel Abroad with a DUI?
A consequence no one thinks about very often, but it is one to keep in mind. Many countries have harsh rules about allowing entry to people who have DUI charges. Before international travel, be sure to research the travel laws by contacting the US Consulate. Nothing would be worse than being turned away after stepping off a long flight to your destination.
Unfortunately, getting into Canada with a DUI is not as simple as showing up at the border with your passport. Suppose you have ever been arrested or convicted for a DUI, regardless of whether it was a misdemeanor or felony offense. You may be criminally inadmissible to Canada and denied entry in that case.
Even if you do not intend to drive, a DUI is enough for officers to turn you away at the border and prevent your entry to Canada.
Mexico takes a harsh stance against DUI convicts. Generally, DUI/DWIconvictions within the past ten years are refused entry. Mexican laws consider a DUI a severe offense.
The European Union, EU, does not block Americans with a DUI from entering countries in the Union. They do not consider DUIs as a prohibited offense. Since Britain left the EU through "Brexit," travel rules are governed by the United Kingdom and not the EU. Fortunately, Britain does not see DUIs as a criminal offense because criminal offenses are excluded from entry.
In Australia, you may be denied entry even if your sentence was more than 12 months ago and even if you didn't serve the entire sentence. This provision includes suspended sentences. To overcome your ineligibility, you should apply for a travel waiver.
China & Japan
Both China and Japan's extensive background checks on visitors and DUIs could prevent entry. It may require filing for a travel waiver. A felony conviction of DUI will prevent entry, while misdemeanor charges may prevent access. Disclosing those convictions and having a travel waiver usually get you entrance to these countries. Contact the US Consulate before traveling to know what you need to gain entry.
United Arab Emirates
The UAE follows Muslim rules; therefore, they are very strict about DUIs. There are no specific laws that strictly ban travelers with a DUI, but it won't be easy, depending on who your immigration officer is.
DUI and travel are hard to navigate. It would help if you asked the consulate for the specific rules for each country. Remember, while it may seem hard now, there is life after your DUI, provided you cooperate.
If you're planning to travel now that Covid-19 restrictions are lifting and you have a DUI, then you might want to make sure you'll gain entrance to the destination of your travels. Every country has its laws about DUIs, and we can help you navigate the murky international waters.