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Locked: Can you cross the border with a DUI?

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  • May 5th, 2008 2:39 pm
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Deal Fanatic
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Nov 1, 2003
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Toronto

Can you cross the border with a DUI?

No, I don't have a DUI. But I know someone who does and his court date is coming up sometime later in the year.

We were planning on going to do some shopping with some other friends this weekend in Buffalo. I'm just wondering if they won't let him through at the border with a pending court date for his DUI. The last thing we want is for all of us to go only to have him turned down at the border, which kinda ruins the whole trip.

Does anyone know how the border security deals with issues like that? I'm sure if you were like wanted for murder and stuff they wouldn't let you cross the border, but I'm not sure what its like for something like a DUI.

Thanks.
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Nov 6, 2004
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Comox, B.C.
they don't have a criminal record YET... will determine that at the court hearing. So technically there is nothing they can check. They don't check driving history when your cross the border.
[OP]
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rock hard wrote:
May 1st, 2008 3:44 pm
they don't have a criminal record YET... will determine that at the court hearing. So technically there is nothing they can check. They don't check driving history when your cross the border.
Oh.....okay thats what I thought. Because until the court hearing he's not actually "charged" and found guilty of anything. But I thought they might still have it on record.

Because you know......like if I was charged for attempted murder, and I tried to leave the country...they may see it as if I was trying to run away or something. So I thought it might be something similar where they might see him leaving the country, as an sign of like him trying to run away =\
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Mar 22, 2007
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Is your friend driving??!?

I think it should be fine if hes not driving!
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Sep 6, 2002
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first things first, your innocent until proven guility. So your friend need not worry as he has a presumptoin of innocence.

If he is convicted its still not a problem, consult the below link and please search next time as Ive posted this link at least 3 times

http://help.cbp.gov/cgi-bin/customs.cfg ... _topview=1

Straight from Customs.gov: At this time, driving under the influence, breaking and entering, disorderly conduct and simple assault are not considered crimes that make a person inadmissible to the U.S.

Your welcome :)

Yao, your not correct. First if his license is valid in Canada then he can drive no problem. Once he is in the US, even if his license is suspended or has a breathlyzer conditoin (+i) he can still drive. The Canadian courts do not have the right to impose restrictions on you when you are in the states.
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Feb 25, 2004
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GangStarr wrote:
May 1st, 2008 4:09 pm
first things first, your innocent until proven guility. So your friend need not worry as he has a presumptoin of innocence.
Would that the same presumption of innocence that that guy in Sudan is experiencing?
If he is convicted its still not a problem, consult the below link and please search next time as Ive posted this link at least 3 times

http://help.cbp.gov/cgi-bin/customs.cfg ... _topview=1

Straight from Customs.gov: At this time, driving under the influence, breaking and entering, disorderly conduct and simple assault are not considered crimes that make a person inadmissible to the U.S.

Your welcome :)
Anybody crossing the border is taking his changes. Is he gonna get busted? 99.99% of the time, of course not but all it takes is just once.

Of course, we can't live paranoid so ... OP, tell your friend to go for it and if it doesn't work out, he will have a great story to tell.
[OP]
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yao416 wrote:
May 1st, 2008 3:49 pm
Is your friend driving??!?

I think it should be fine if hes not driving!
Lol obviously not....I'm driving :)
GangStarr wrote:
May 1st, 2008 4:09 pm
first things first, your innocent until proven guility. So your friend need not worry as he has a presumptoin of innocence.

If he is convicted its still not a problem, consult the below link and please search next time as Ive posted this link at least 3 times

http://help.cbp.gov/cgi-bin/customs.cfg ... _topview=1

Straight from Customs.gov: At this time, driving under the influence, breaking and entering, disorderly conduct and simple assault are not considered crimes that make a person inadmissible to the U.S.

Your welcome :)

Yao, your not correct. First if his license is valid in Canada then he can drive no problem. Once he is in the US, even if his license is suspended or has a breathlyzer conditoin (+i) he can still drive. The Canadian courts do not have the right to impose restrictions on you when you are in the states.
GangStarr, thank you for your well-informed reply. And yes, I guess I should've did a more detailed search first. But yeah, thanks again, its much appreciated.
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CheapScotsman wrote:
May 1st, 2008 4:20 pm
Would that the same presumption of innocence that that guy in Sudan is experiencing?

Anybody crossing the border is taking his changes. Is he gonna get busted? 99.99% of the time, of course not but all it takes is just once.

Of course, we can't live paranoid so ... OP, tell your friend to go for it and if it doesn't work out, he will have a great story to tell.
customs.gov says even if hes convicted he can enter. Read before you flame thanks. The US can refuse you for any reason, but solely being refused for a DUI is simply not possible. Particularly that he hasn't been convicted and DUI's are treated MUCH less strict in the US.

Note that Canada reserves the right to refuse access to those who have been charged with alcohol related incidence. (obviously aside from Canadian citizens)

to the OP.

No problem, I don't mind helping, especially if it clears up this stupid rumor that "any criminal act committed in canada, automatically means you can't enter the states". If you can't tell I have a few friends who are lawyers...
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Jun 15, 2005
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GangStarr wrote:
May 1st, 2008 5:47 pm
The US can refuse you for any reason,
That's true.
When I was 19 me and 3 other friends were going to cross the border around 8pm just to grab something to eat (we had been driving and staying at hotels all weekend, just having a good time).
We were brought inside and questioned because they didn't believe our story. Then we were sent away lol.
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Aug 22, 2003
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Any arrest can result in not being admitted into the US. Some American Immigration guys ask about conviction, some ask arrest. We had one at the booth next to us last week again being turned away because of a previous arrest, it was not a conviction. It got pretty heated and was easy to overhear as our Officer wanted the vehicle turned off. Their officer kept repeating he could deny entry based on an arrest and really didn't even need a reason...
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Feb 25, 2004
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GangStarr wrote:
May 1st, 2008 5:47 pm
customs.gov says even if hes convicted he can enter. Read before you flame thanks. The US can refuse you for any reason, but solely being refused for a DUI is simply not possible. Particularly that he hasn't been convicted and DUI's are treated MUCH less strict in the US.
As you indicated a border guard can refuse you entry for any reason. In fact, they can refuse you for no reason. They don't have to give any reason. They can just refuse you ... and if they happen to internalize the reason (which is they pulled up your court record) then you aren't going to know and there is nothing you can do about it ....

It is possible (although not likely) and that is my point.
Deal Addict
Dec 26, 2006
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The US uses "crimes of moral turpitude" as its barometer for inadmissibility based on criminality.

In a zippy twist, the US can refuse you for pretty much anything they feel like.

Canada on the other hand, has stricter regulations for inadmissibility (ie its harder to to refuse non-citizens entry), except in regards to criminality, a DUI or DWI is grounds for denied entry to Canada.
The wonderous minds of some RFDers:
nx2k wrote:
Apr 13th, 2009 5:47 am
so let me get this straight
if you did the crime, you should do the time?
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Feb 9, 2003
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Not only can a US border guard refuse you, he can also ban you for 5 years. That's 59 months longer then the average RFD ban.
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Oct 10, 2006
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GangStarr, great link! Thanks for posting it.

OP....here is a Q specific to your original question on the same site.
http://help.cbp.gov/cgi-bin/customs.cfg ... _topview=1
I have a DUI, can I enter Canada and the U.S.?


As a general rule, Canada does not allow persons with DUIs to enter their country, although they do have a process for applying for a waiver. Canadian Customs can be reached at (506) 636-5064.

A DUI conviction is not grounds to deny entry into the U.S.

See this button :confused: :confused: Learn how to use it PLEASE ;)
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Ebola wrote:
May 1st, 2008 8:11 pm
Canada on the other hand, has stricter regulations for inadmissibility (ie its harder to to refuse non-citizens entry), except in regards to criminality, a DUI or DWI is grounds for denied entry to Canada.
Besides holding them ... is there any situations in which a Canadian Citizen can be barred from re-entry into Canada?
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