DUI convictions have long-lasting effects. Many people first think of their permanent record, career opportunities, reputation, expensive fines, and more. With summer coming up and travel arrangements in the works, you may be wondering, “Will my DUI conviction affect my travel plans?”
Can I Leave the State With a DUI?
If you are planning on exploring other states within the US, then you’re in luck. There are no current state-to-state travel restrictions for people who have been convicted of DUI.
What If My Case Is Pending?
If you are thinking about going on vacation while your DUI case is pending, there are certain things you must consider.
First, the conditions of your bond. If you are out on bond, you may have restrictions that keep you in the state. It is essential to discuss this with your attorney or bond agent to confirm you are allowed to travel. If you are not allowed, you may be able to request to do so.
Another important detail is court dates. Missing court dates could lead to a warrant for your arrest and other consequences. Ensure that your travel plans will not interfere with your required court appearances. In some cases, only your attorney needs to be present at the hearing. Discuss this with your attorney before taking off.
Can I Leave the Country With a DUI?
International travel is already more difficult due to COVID-19, so what about if you have a DUI conviction?
Your ability to travel internationally depends on the rules of the destination country. In some countries, DUI is considered a criminal offense that bars you from entering. In others, it is not a big deal. In most cases, as long as the DUI didn’t result in injury, you will be allowed to enter the country.
The following countries restrict entry to people with a DUI on their record:
- The People’s Republic of China
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
Travel to Canada
Something you may not be aware of, however, is Canada’s strictness regarding this policy. Canada is one of the countries that views DUI as a criminal offense, and having a conviction on your record will prevent you from crossing the border.
However, there are a couple of options if you really want to visit:
- Pay a $200 fine
- Obtain a temporary visitor’s permit
The permit is rarely granted but it is a possibility as long as you haven’t committed any crimes since the DUI, and have never been to jail.
Canada lifts this restriction after ten years as long as you do not get another DUI during that time frame.
Renting A Car With A DUI
You may run into trouble when trying to rent a car. Rental car companies have the right to refuse anyone a rental, and a DUI conviction is a common reason this happens. Your driving record as a whole can impact your ability to rent a car. This includes DUI convictions, speeding tickets, or any reason the company may believe you are a liability.
Typically, the longer it has been since your DUI conviction, the better the odds are that you’ll be able to rent a car. Some companies have specific policies about how much time needs to have passed until you can rent a car (ex. Avis requires 48 months).
What If I Am Required To Use An IID?
If you have been approved to rent a car but you know you must use an ignition interlock device, that is your responsibility. If you are pulled over while driving the rental car, you can face severe penalties for not using an IID.
If you are required to use an ignition interlock device, it is in your best interest not to drive a rental car.
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