It’s that time of year again – when the weather turns cold and the people of Michigan start dreaming of warm sunny islands with white beaches and cool blue waves. Or perhaps you like your Christmas season more traditional, and you’re off to Europe, or perhaps even Iceland, for the Yuletide festivities. But do you have a DUI on your record? Because if you do, it may put a damper on your international travel plans!
A DUI really can affect your international travel plans!
Welcome back to our discussion on the different ways that a DUI could affect your hopes of travelling abroad. As we pointed out in the first article, different countries view drunk driving convictions differently. Some countries, like the UK, don’t think of it as a criminal activity, and it shouldn’t make any difference to your chances for getting in. Other places, like Australia for example, have VERY strict policies when it comes to DUIs, and anyone who’s been convicted of operating under the influence has practically no chance of crossing the border into Aussie-land!
How does a DUI affect your chances of traveling to Europe?
Surprisingly, travel to European countries with a DUI on your record isn’t as restricted as you’d think! Many of the European nations are part of the Schengen Agreement, which allows visitors to travel freely within the borders of 26 different European nations. It’s very similar to the way Americans cross state lines without any bureaucratic restrictions.
These 26 countries all adhere to the same laws when it comes to travelers with criminal records. Because criminal records are linked to immigration databases in many countries, criminal convictions could result in you being denied entry. As we pointed out before, European countries don’t have access to the US criminal data bases, so chances are they won’t know about your DUI unless you tell them. But not telling them and having them find out some other way may complicate things for you in the future.
Many countries are part of the Schengen Agreement. Some of the more well known one are:
- The Netherlands
What about crossing the US borders into Canada and Mexico?
For many Americans, ‘international travel’ means going to Mexico or Canada. They’re the closest, and therefore the most affordable options. However, the fact that they share a border with the US is about the only thing they have in common. While Mexico is relatively lax about allowing visitors with OWI convictions into the country, Canada is very strict.
Hoping to spend spring break in Cancun or sightsee the Mayan Riviera, but you’ve been convicted of drunk driving? No problem. All Mexican border control agents want from you is a legal and up-to-date passport. If you can present that, you’re probably golden. Canada on the other hand, has very strict regulations about who they allow into their country. If you want to know more about getting into the Great White North with a DUI conviction, read our recent blog post on that subject.
The best way to travel unimpeded is to avoid a DUI conviction!
As we point out regularly to our readers, the best way to avoid having to deal with all of the drama and red tape that comes with having a DUI, is to not drink and drive! However, for those of you who’ve made a mistake, or misjudged your own limitations, our experienced Michigan drunk driving lawyers are here to help you protect your reputation. Call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 at any time of day or night. An attorney is standing by to take your call.