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Can an American citizen with a Drunk Driving (OWI) conviction travel to Canada?

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essemcee asked:

I don’t know if this is just a rumor, but as far as I know, from word of mouth, travelers can not visit Canada if they have a drunk driving conviction from their home country. I’ve heard this is due to the fact that drunk driving is considered a felony in Canada. And basically everyone I talk to in the US believes it to be true as well. I have researched Canadian websites, gov’t websites, traveling sites and can’t find anything definitive on the matter. Your help would be greatly appreciated, ‘cuz I’d love to visit.

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6 comments to “Can an American citizen with a Drunk Driving (OWI) conviction travel to Canada?”

  1. There is no truth to the rumor. There is no record check when you travel to Canada. If you travel by car, you must have both a valid driver’s license and a passport. If you drink and drive in Canada, the penalties are steap and the BAC level that is coonsidered for DUI is much stricter than in the US.

  2. A drunk driving conviction can stop you from entering Canada.

  3. I know of an English person who was refused a work permit in America because they had a drink drive conviction, but their are many ways around this.

  4. are u drunk now?

  5. Yes, it is true that an OWI is a felony in Canada. Although you can still visit Canada if you are an American citizen with a DUI. As long as your probation does not force you to stay within the country, you should be okay. I just took a trip to Windsor, Canada with a few friends and one of them was underage with a DUI and he was just fine.

  6. I’m married to someone who works at Canada Customs and Immigration (now known as Canadian Border Services Agency) and he said that its really is up to the Customs Officer to decide.

    Officially they do not allow people into Canada who have recent DUI’s (about the last ten years) if its older than that, something you did when you were much younger that often leaves it up to the Customs officer to decide. If the person has no repeat offences, if it was a simple DUI from long ago, did not involve a hit and run then its often the discrepancy of the Customs person then and there. If you do come to Canada, look to an older Customs person with experience. The younger ones tend to be trained with much more enforcement in mind, the older ones took their training when Canada did not have to worry about terrorism.

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