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Did you know that an intoxication-related offense can make it very difficult for you to enter certain countries – even if you are not convicted? This article covers what countries you can’t go to with a DUI, a DWI, or other serious intoxication-related offense.

Driving under the influence (DUI) is another term used outside of Texas to refer to the same offense we call a DWI or Driving While Intoxicated. For this article, the term DUI and DWI is used interchangeably – although it is a different offense in Texas.

DUI is a serious offense that can have severe consequences, including jail time, fines, and the loss of a driver’s license. A DUI conviction can also result in being barred from entering certain countries.

Countries You Can’t Go to With a DUI

There are several countries that will not allow someone with a DUI on their record to enter their borders. These countries include Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Canada, for example, has strict entry requirements for individuals with criminal records, including those with a DUI conviction. In order to be allowed into Canada, individuals with a DUI must apply for a temporary resident permit, which can take several months to process. The permit is not guaranteed, and the applicant must demonstrate that they are not a risk to Canadian society and have a legitimate reason for entering the country.

Australia and New Zealand also have strict entry requirements for individuals with criminal records, including those with a DUI conviction. In order to be allowed into these countries, individuals with a DUI must apply for a visa and provide information about their criminal history. The visa application process can be lengthy, and the applicant must also demonstrate that they are not a risk to the community and have a legitimate reason for entering the country.

It is important to note that these entry requirements can vary depending on the individual’s specific circumstances, including the severity of their DUI offense and the length of time since the conviction. It is always best to check with the relevant embassy or consulate before entering any of these countries.

DWI vs. DUI and Getting into Canada

As noted above, we are using the term DUI and DWI interchangeably in this article because Texas is one of the few states that uses the term “DWI” to refer to operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. That offense is commonly referred to as a DUI in other states and even driving while ability impaired (DWAI).

In Texas, a first-time DWI offense is a Class B misdemeanor, which can result in up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Subsequent offenses can result in even harsher penalties, including longer jail sentences and higher fines. Any of these, even a first time offense, can jeopardize your ability to enter Canada.

Getting into Canada with a DWI Conviction

It is important to note that a DWI conviction in Texas can also result in the loss of a driver’s license, increased insurance rates, and other consequences. As mentioned previously, it can also result in being barred from entering certain countries, depending on their entry requirements.

In conclusion, a DWI is a specific type of DUI that refers to operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher in the state of Texas. It is a serious offense that can result in jail time, fines, and the loss of a driver’s license, as well as potential difficulties when traveling to other countries.

Why should someone hire a DWI attorney if they want to go to Canada?

A DWI attorney can help an individual avoid a plea on a DWI. They can also work closely with an immigration attorney who can help navigate the application process for a temporary resident permit and increase their chances of being granted entry into Canada.

In addition, a DWI attorney can help an individual understand the potential consequences of their DWI conviction and how it may affect their ability to travel to Canada.

Varghese Summersett is a premier criminal defense firm based in Fort Worth, Texas. Our attorneys focus exclusively on criminal law and represent clients charged with crimes at both the state and federal level. We handle everything from DWI to capital murder to white collar crime. Collectively, our attorneys bring together more than 100 years of criminal law experience and have tried more than 550 cases before Texas juries. All of our senior attorneys served as former state or federal prosecutors and four are Board Certified in Criminal law, the highest designation an attorney can reach. We are the firm people turn to when the stakes are high and they are facing the biggest problem in their lives. - Contact Varghese at  
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