Canadian Travel for Michigan Residents – How Your DUI Affects You

scene of Canadian city across the water at night

Many Michigan residents love to vacation in Canada. But with a DUI on your record, that may be off the books!

 

Slipping across the border to the ‘great white north’ is a pretty common vacation choice for those of us living in Michigan. Whether it’s to sightsee, visit relatives, or simply purchase items not available in the US (Dunkaroos and Hickory Sticks anyone?) But whatever your reason for heading north, there are a few things you need to consider before you plan your next Canadian vacation. Specifically, do you have a DUI?

 

If your answer was yes, you may have a problem. Under Canadian immigration law, if you have committed, or been convicted of a crime, you may not be allowed to cross the border into Canada. Canadian law calls this “criminally inadmissible.” In other words, you may not get past Canadian Border Control into  their country because of your drunk driving conviction. The is another of the collateral consequences of having a criminal record.

 

The list of crimes that may make you criminally inadmissible when it comes to Canadian border patrol is actually quite long, including

 

Canadian officials consider drunk driving to be a serious offense. For that reason, if you have a DUI, OWI or any kind of drunk driving offense on your record, there’s a good chance they won’t allow you into the country. This includes if you’re crossing the border  as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle.

 

According to Canada’s Health and Security regulations, any foreigners with criminal records may be turned away at the border.

 

In addition, Canadian Border Police have complete discretion to allow or deny entry to anybody at any time. But don’t lose hope! If you have your heart set on going to Canada, and you have a drunk driving conviction on your record, there are still perfectly legal ways for you to get into the country. For example…

 

If it you can convince the border patrol officer that you have been deemed rehabilitated, then they may still be allowed you to enter. Deemed rehabilitated means, according to Canada’s Government, that “enough time has passed since you were convicted, that your crime may no longer bar you from entering Canada.” There are other factors besides time that affect this as well. For example, how many crimes you committed, and what type of crimes they were.

 

If it has been more than five years since your DUI, it’s usually no longer considered to be an issue by Canadian authorities, and you will be able to cross the border as if it never happened. If however, it hasn’t been a full five years since your most recent DUI conviction, you may apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). A Temporary Resident Permit allows an individual who would otherwise have been deemed inadmissible, to enter the country for a specific purpose.

 

However, it’s important to remember that when you apply for a TRP, you will be required to specify exactly why you want to enter Canada. Your reasons will have to be compelling. Reasons like “I need a vacation” or “I ran out of bagged milk and butter tarts” aren’t going to cut it. In most cases, a work related reason is usually considered sufficient. Also, you need to remember that the TRP application process can take up to a year, so plan ahead!

 

So if you’re hoping to go to Canada, and you have a DUI on your record, Attorney John English suggests you contact a Canadian immigration attorney first. They should be able to help you determine whether or not your reasons are compelling enough, and how to go about applying for a TRP.

 

If however, you’ve been charged with drunk driving or drugged driving here in Michigan and you know that Canada is on your bucket list, call The Kronzek Firm right now at 866 766 5245. The best way to avoid a DUI on your record is to fight the charge from the very start with the help of a highly skilled and experienced DUI defense attorney. Dealing with a charge after the fact is alway much harder than working to keep it off your record in the first place.

 

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New Bill to Phase Out Michigan’s Driver Responsibility Fees

Under this new law, Michigan driver responsibility fees would be phased out faster.

 

In 2002, the state of Michigan signed into law a policy aimed at penalizing drivers who repeatedly violate traffic safety laws. Driver responsibility fees, they were dubbed, and they range from $100 all the way up to $2,000. Since 2003, however, these fees have come under fire. They’ve been called nothing more than a government “money grab” which negatively impacts low-income drivers, as they are usually the ones who cannot afford to pay. This in turn leads to an endless cycle of debt and incarceration. Those in favor of the fees argue that nobody forces any drivers to violate the law and get hit with those fees in the first place.

 

As of now, there is over $600 million in outstanding driver responsibility fees that have not been paid to our state. And according to a spokesperson for Speaker of the House Tom Leonard, that isn’t going to change any time soon. “This money’s never coming in. It’s just putting a debt on people who can’t pay it.” So what can be done about it? Is there a solution to this massive issue that seems to be crippling so many Michigan drivers, and costing so many people their futures? Indeed there is…

 

A package of seven bills were introduced in the House last week that aim to phase out Michigan’s driver responsibility fees even faster, and ultimately forgive millions in past debt. In introducing the bills, Speaker of the House Leonard said that “Far too many working people who received a ticket and paid their fine were hit with new, difficult surcharges, often costing them their licenses, and then their jobs, and then their ability to ever pay off the mountain of debt.”

 

It’s been an ongoing battle. In 2011, Gov. Rick Snyder signed bills into law that did away with some of the fees. But some claim it wasn’t enough while others remind us that those same people continue to rack up more tickets. In 2014, the legislature acted again, and moved to phase out all fees in the future. This version of the law gave residents a one-year window in which they could opt for doing volunteer work instead of paying the fees. However this only applies to certain offenses. And it still put the phase out years into the future. The current bill package would have all fees eradicated within a year.

 

But what about all those drunk drivers, you may be wondering?

 

What’s to keep them from offending again and again without the driver responsibility fees in place to keep them in check. Ask Bellino and he’ll tell you – this issue was never about addressing specific crimes. Right from the start, it was about money.  “This had nothing to do with deterring dangerous driving and everything to do with finding a way to fix an unbalanced budget in the previous administration. There is no evidence at all that paying the fees made anyone a better driver. Now those who were unable to drive to work have a fresh chance to succeed.” No studies have been cited that show that a fresh start helps to deter the same drives from re-offending so that still remains to be seen.

 

This would be a huge move for Michigan, considering we recently ranked as one of the top five harshest states for driver’s license suspension policies. In a study done by The Legal Aid Justice Center, they analyzed driver’s license suspension policies in all 50 states, and revealed that Michigan’s were some of the toughest! Only Delaware, Florida, Maine and Virginia come anywhere close to beating our “tough-on-crime” driver’s license suspension policies, which seem to mirror our very harsh driver responsibility fees.

 

Drunk and drugged drivers in Michigan are often faced with very high driver responsibility fees, in addition to other penalties like jail or prison time, ignition interlock requirements, license plate confiscation, and vehicle forfeiture. If you are arrested for drunk driving, or accused of operating under the influence of drugs, call The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245. We have a long track record of success, fighting for our clients and getting great results!

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Drunk Driving Charges in Michigan – Yes, They ARE a Big Deal!

 

There are people who believe that while arson, assault and burglary are “big deal” crimes, drunk driving isn’t a real issue, and won’t be taken seriously by the cops and the prosecutor’s office. Therefore, they think it isn’t something they need to worry about. Well, boy are they wrong!

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DUI FYI: Facts About Drunk Driving in Michigan

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to drunk driving…

 

Many people have preconceived notions about getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, and many of them are incorrect. So in order to keep you updated, we have compiled a partial list of interesting and informative facts about DUIs in Michigan that you may find enlightening.

 

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Is ‘Driving Distracted’ More Deadly Than Driving Drunk?

Is distracted driving more deadly than drunk driving?

 

Distracted driving is exactly what it sounds like – driving while you are distracted and not paying your full attention to the process of driving. Distracted driving is common all over Michigan including on the major highways, back roads in every county and on local streets. ‘Distracted’ can come in many forms, including eating, using a cell phone, listening to your favorite jam on the radio, putting on make-up, chatting to friends, and yelling at misbehaving kids in the backseat.

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Does New Technology Offer us The Chance at a DUI-Free Future?

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Could a car that knows when you’re intoxicated help reduce drunk driving?

 

Technology is constantly evolving, and methods aimed at bettering life are always being introduced, created and updated. This is never more true than right now, when technologies aimed at eliminating drunk driving are right on the horizon. But is everyone excited about this new step towards a DUI-free future? And is there a chance it may be less than ideal?

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Exactly Where Can You be Arrested For Drunk Driving in Michigan?

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The Michigan Supreme Court has finally weighed in on whether or not you can be arrested for driving drunk in your own driveway.

 

If you follow our blog regularly, you’ll remember an article we posted a few months ago about a man in Michigan who was arrested for drunk driving in his own driveway. The case made headlines as it traveled through the courts and ended up before the Michigan Supreme Court, where a solution has finally been found. Curious about how it all happened? It all started in a driveway in Northville, Michigan, near Detroit.

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Does Getting High Affect Your Ability to Drive?

Does smoking pot and getting high affect your ability to drive? Research says…

 

For the last few years, Michigan has been involved in the legal storm surrounding the legalization of marijuana. With that issue in mind, we are forced to consider how it can impact a person’s ability to drive. Most people, when you ask them if it is safe to ‘drive high’ will tell you it is not. After all, it’s a commonly known fact that marijuana slows your reaction time, which can be deadly on the road. However, it appears that there is a lot more to the argument surrounding drugged driving!

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Roadside Sobriety Tests: The World’s Scariest Pop Quiz (Part 4)

If you fail any of the roadside sobriety tests, you are likely to be arrested for a DUI!

 

Welcome back and thanks for joining us as we wrap up the subject of roadside field sobriety tests in Michigan – a subject that a few of our clients have likened to the scariest pop quiz they ever had to take! Thus far we’ve looked at the more common tests, like the horizontal nystagmus test, the walk-and-turn test, and a few others like the one-leg-stand and rhombus balance tests. Moving on we’re going to break down a few of the less common ones used by police officers here in Michigan.

 

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Roadside Sobriety Tests: The World’s Scariest Pop Quiz (Part 3)

Walking in a straight line and balancing on one foot are common roadside sobriety tests.

 

Welcome back and thanks for joining us again as we break down Michigan’s field sobriety tests, which a number of our clients have described as the world’s scariest pop quiz. And who could blame them – it’s hard to prepare for a test that you have no idea you’ll be taking, and no way to know what questions you’ll be asked. Actually, that last part should be less of an issue for you in the future, as that’s exactly what we’re doing here – letting you in on the questions!

 

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