How a DUI Penalty Can Impact Your Travel Plans

You can already imagine the snow capped mountains and the beautiful blue lakes! You have been online constantly for the past few months just planning all of the exciting activities for family entertainment. You have saved for this adventure for years, and it is finally time to take the family on an adventure that the children will never forget. All of your time and energy has been expended checking each aspect of the trip, but you know that it will all be worth the effort. You have finally reached the end of your checklist and are beginning to relax. Nothing could stop you now, right?

Actually, there could be one tiny, often overlooked problem. Remember that DUI that you got back in 2003. You realized your mistake, paid your fine, and finished your probation. It caused you great embarrassment, and you felt really bad so nothing like that has ever happened again. The court records show that this incident is finished, but it will show up on any background check for another ten years. Believe it or not, some countries will not allow you to enter their territory even if the DUI has only been classified as a misdemeanor and occurred more than five years ago.

Tough Neighbors

Canada is especially vigilant about allowing travelers with a DUI on record to get through the border crossing. Because they share a law enforcement data base with other leading countries, it is easy to monitor past crimes. Canadian rules reflect their serious attitude toward the issue of driving while intoxicated, and the only way around them is by applying for rehabilitation status. Because this may take a while to process, the application should be made early in the travel preparations.

Travelers can begin by filling out the application form, but they must also submit the following:

• Court documents pertaining to the decision about the DUI

• Police records from all states in which you have resided for 6 months or more

• An updated copy of a Federal Bureau of Investigation identity record

• From $200 to $1000 to pay for processing the rehabilitation request

While Mexico might not be as tough on a DUI offence as Canada, especially if it happened to be a first time misdemeanor offense, travelers with a past conviction could have problems from other sources. If they are still on probation, the officer could refuse to let them travel into Mexico. It is always best to make arrangements of this nature well in advance because the final decision may be left to the officer on duty.

It is also the best policy to check with an experienced attorney who can research the current laws in the countries through which you plan to travel. Policies are constantly changing as countries try to get a handle on crimes involving motor vehicles and alcohol. The only way to be sure that your trip will be as successful as you have dreamed is by taking care of any DUI issues before leaving home.

Christine Lewis is a contributing writer at Katz & Phillips, P.A. If you need to consult an Orlando DUI Attorney or want information on Florida DUI penalties please visit their website.

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