• DWI Travel Consequences


    If you decide to travel to Canada after a DWI conviction, you may not be able to cross the border.

    While Canada is close to Minnesota and there are many reasons to travel to the country to the north, it is a sovereign nation that has its own set of rules that must be complied with before a person can cross the border. Some people are surprised when they find out that they are not able to enter the country if they have a criminal conviction on their record for even the smallest offense, such as a first-time drunk driving offense.

    If you have been charged with DWI, it is your right to fight the charge. Certain freedoms, such as the ability to travel to Canada, can be interfered with if you have the opportunity to avoid conviction and do not take it. With an experienced St. Paul and Minneapolis DWI attorney by your side, you can have a better chance.


    Canadian law states that a person may not be able to enter the country if they have been committed of a crime. It doesn’t matter if the passport is valid and other requirements for admittance are met. A person does not have to commit the crime in Canada to be denied entry, which means that U.S. convictions for a number of crimes can result in refusal of entry.

    Since 9/11, both Canada and the United States have agreed to share even more information with each other, which is why Canadian border officials are able to search the backgrounds of potential American visitors so easily.


    What some do not realize is that a DWI conviction may not necessarily permanently restrict entry into Canada. There are options. For instance, you could apply for criminal rehabilitation or you could apply for a Temporary Resident Permit. Rehabilitation can be claimed and applied for if the crime occurred outside of Canada and if five years have passed since the sentence was served. To be able to enter the country, you will have to prove that the required amount of time has passed and that you have led a law abiding life since you were convicted. This is frequently referred to as “a stable lifestyle” and such a lifestyle is demonstrated by showing that you have maintained a home, held a job, and you may even have to provide a reference letter.

    You should be aware that this is a process that can take some time. Some applications are a year or more old before they are considered. This is just one of the long-term consequences that make fighting DWI with the help of your St. Paul DWI attorney worth it.