A Maine OUI Conviction Can Block Canada DUI Entry

By: John Webb, Criminal Defense Lawyer Maine for Over Two Decades, and Lifelong Resident

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Under Canadian law, conviction of a Maine OUI (or elsewhere in the U.S.) can make you an “inadmissible person” in Canada. Due to driving under the influence convictions being classified by our northern neighbor as a serious offense, getting into Canada with a DUI is not easy.

An “inadmissible person” cannot visit or stay in Canada because they have been convicted of certain crimes within Canada or convicted outside of Canada (e.g., in any USA state, including Maine.) This article explains some of the many rules controlling Canada DUI entry policies and regulations, so that you know when to contact Canadian immigrations lawyers for assistance.

The DUI Canada Problem: Can I Go to Canada With a DUI?

For decades, the United States government has shared driver’s license and criminal court records with Canadian immigration authorities. The equivalent of our Border Patrol, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), determines who is eligible to enter and who is not. Resolving these issues BEFORE landing at Toronto or Montreal is always the best practice.

If you are traveling to Canada, you should assume that the Canadian government immigration officers at all entry points (airport, ships at a port, border crossing) will be able to see your criminal history on their computers and find out about any pending DUI charge or closed criminal case involving driving while intoxicated.

Is DUI the Only Criminal Conviction That Creates a Problem Traveling to Canada?

No, it is not. Convictions for various other misdemeanor offenses, especially if in addition to a prior intoxicated driving conviction, make block your entry. This “DUI Canada” problem has existed for over 50 years, yet many criminal lawyers representing clients in Maine on operating under the influence (OUI) charges fail to mention this common problem, much less recommend a Canada immigration attorney.

For example, if a DUI-DWI had been reduced to reckless driving, and another OUI conviction exists, this can create denial of entry.

Additionally, any criminal conviction in the USA involving a crime of moral turpitude (the acronym used in Canada is “CIMT” for crime involving moral turpitude) may be grounds to deny entry to Canada, and vice versa for Canadians seeking to come to the United States. No country wants a person entering their country that has been convicted of a crime associated with stealing, dishonesty, or fraud.

Conviction of a DUI Offense MAY Make You Ineligible for DUI Canada Entry

  • Conviction for impaired driving offense;
  • Suspended or revoked license for having an excessive blood alcohol level, following a drunk driving arrest;
  • Conviction or license suspension for failing to take a breath, blood or urine alcohol test, also known as a DUI refusal of an implied consent test;
  • Outstanding warrants and pending charges or trials for a driving while impaired offense.

John Webb Canadian DU Entry


Note: The lawyers in Maine at Webb Law Firm are not allowed to practice law in Canada, or give legal advice about entering Canada with a DUI (or other criminal record). The information on this page for Canada DUI entry is for advisory purposes only. Please contact the Canadian Consulate with questions regarding Canadian law and inadmissibility, or find a Canadian lawyer skilled in immigration law. Plus, see the additional information and links below, for other pages within this site. For a referral to a Canadian lawyer, ask John Webb: DIAL 207-283-6400

Other Helpful Link for Resolving Going to Canada With a DUI

Five Helpful Tips on How You Can Get into Canada With a DUI

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