Entering Canada with years old DUI conviction

Pages

108 posts / 0 new
Last post
bobkat's picture
bobkat
Offline
GREENHORN
Joined: 12/16/01

"Kind of laugh at all the guys on here that wine about not being able to get into canada because they have a DUI (in the past) Well don't drink and drive and you really never have to worry about things like being turned away. What happens if you would have killed someone when you where driving and drinking(in the past I am sure you guys never do it anymore"

You've got a point, Shane and others.  We all know and agree that  none of should ever drink and drive.
But in the real world of our youth I'd bet that well over 90% of FB posters have driven a vehicle at or above the .08 level.  I know I sure did back then and it was only pure luckthat  I didn't get a DUI or worse, kill someone.  I'm sure there's lots of people in my category, too.

Heck though, I haven't had a beer or  any booze on board for 23+ years, and  there's certainly lots of reprobates like me on FBO, that did our bad stuff then grew out of it or learned our lesson in another way..

I personally feel that a more than reasonable number for the border people to be tough should be at most, 10 years.   For lots of us it could be  lower, too. 
Heck, properly rehabbed even high risk professions, like Airline Pilots can go back to the left front seat after 2 years, other aircraft duties far less than that.  So if there was a reasonable way of proving it to the border people, I think being clean 2 or 5 years or espeically 10, should allow you to go catch Canadian Fish.
I hear Canadian laws on DUI's are really tough though, not only for American DUI's but themselves, too.

littlelulu's picture
littlelulu
Offline
Joined: 11/7/12

Wondering if anyone has first hand experience since the new law went into effect in march this year.  We are planning a trip to Canada with our children for the Christmas holidays and I recently found out about the DUI laws in Canada.  Have searched the internet, called the border, had a friend ask a border agent last week... and I am now thinking about canceling our trip.  My husband thinks I am paranoid and that we will have no problems.

He was convicted of a DUI in 1986.  The following year he was arrested and convicted for driving without a license and obstructing a public servant (both a misdemeanor).  He was a rebel youth who made some mistakes.  He has since completely changed and for the past 20 plus years has not drank nor been in any sort of trouble. 

I never knew him in those days.  I do know that he grew up to be a successful and responsible adult, husband, parent of two kids who are now in college and who also don't drink nor have any of us ever seen him drink....  Bottom line is that I don't think there is any indication that he will enter Canada and suddenly throw away his successful job, life, wife, kids, home... and take to drinking and destruction during a family christmas trip.  He certainly regrets his ill spent short lived stint at bad behavior as a youth however I also think he's a better more informed parent as a result of the mistakes he made and is thankful he never hurt himself or others drunk behind the wheel 26 years ago.  He's also helped many others quit drinking over the years.

I ran a background check on him and these three misdemeanor convictions do show on his background check even though they are from 1986.  I understand they are felonies in Canada.

It's too late to apply for a pardon and frankly I don't think he qualifies to enter Canada as he has not one but three misdemeanors.  He actually said he thinks he got two DUI's in one day however only one shows on his record.  Any advice is greatly appreciated. 

espringers's picture
espringers
Offline
GREENHORN
Joined: 7/25/07

I've got no info for ya... But this..."he actually thinks he may have gotten two duis in one day"... Is funny as hell. Ohhhh to be young again! Good luck on ur Christmas trip. What new law passed in march are u talking about?

Born to hunt and fish... Forced to work!

Redrivermuleys's picture
Redrivermuleys
Offline
GREENHORN
Joined: 11/7/05

 I didn't read all those posts. I went to Canada this summer with a guy that had a DUI. He got a form online and brought it to the border personally to get it verified. He now has a letter from the queen and has been to Canada multiple times. He just hands over the letter with his passport when we drive through

jimjakebob's picture
jimjakebob
Offline
Joined: 1/5/10

I wrote earlier on this thread about my DUI conviction from 1997.  I have crossed the border about 7 times since then.  Once by car and 6 times by train.  They asked me if i ever had been arrested one time and  i said no.  If i said yes "the truth will set me free" on the next train back south to new jersey.

There is a chance they may have this on record.  They dont do a criminal check on most of the people.  they dont have the time.  If they ask you if you have ever been  arrested say no.  if you lie the worst they are going to do is ban you for 5 or ten years from going into canada.  You are going back to USA if u lie or dont if they know you have record.  If you apply for permit it will take a year to get, you have to get massive paperwork, and will cost you tons of money.

Read my threads from this.  Please let me know if I helped you.

The chances are you will be able to get thru border with arrestes from 27 years ago.

By the way, a border agent looks at attitiude and freindliness also.  Theoretically a border agent can refuse you entry for any reason.  Be polite, dont volunteer anything.  IF they ask you if you have already been arrested and they know, they are testing to see if you lie.  its not important.  If you say no, they will not check.  If you say yes, they will check and you will have told the truth and will graciously sent back on your way south.  
Please let me know if I helped you .  I am sure you will be fine.
By the way I am almost 16 years sober and do not own a car.  but common sense and logic dont apply when dealing with the goverment and laws.  The chances of me drinking are slim and the chances of me driving are zero.  I know that does not matter. Be polite, and answer all questions. Dont volunteer any information they dont ask for and if asked if you have ever been arrested say "NO"

 Good luck.  It can be nerve racking but I am sure you will be fine.  I still get nervous at the border but i know the worst that will happen is that i will never visit Canada ever again.  Thats okay also.  The world has alot of other beautiful countries and cities.


CWS's picture
CWS
Offline
GREENHORN
Joined: 4/29/12

LOL to some people being banned from another country for 5-10 years is a big deal.  Lieing to a federal law enforcement officer is never a good idea.
For those people who say they had a DUI but its from "25 years ago" or "i was a kid" doesnt matter, its on your record, forever.  Sympothy stories dont help either.  Trust me it wouldnt be worth telling CBSA officials that your a "changed  person" since then.  I wouldnt bother with a pardon either, i know the US does not recognize pardons for immigration purposes, i dont think Canada would recognize them either.  You can call CBSA officials and ask them about the DUI conviction, they may be able to get you a criminal waiver to enter Canada, but that may cost you some $$ and time.  its not the fact that you are going into Canada to get arrested, its just that for immigration purposes on the US and Canadian border, there are morals and rules that they go by when people are applicants for admission.  Certain arrests and crimes will keep you  out of the US and Canada.  Just keep that in the back of you head when going up to Canada, or any Canadians coming into the US.

jimjakebob's picture
jimjakebob
Offline
Joined: 1/5/10

CWS

I agree with you.  For some people getting banned for 5 to 10 years is a big deal and should not risk this.  There is no doubt that lieing to a Federal employee that is asking you a question they already know the answer to is not a crime.  If you lie they are not going to do anything to you  They are asking you a question about something that is in the past and if they are doing there job they should have the answer to already it anyhow..  You most likely already paid the debt for your crime.  IF there is a warrant out for your arrest for this crime then they may detain or arrest you or just send you back.

If you lie and they find out they will ban you for one, five or 10 years. If you are nasty to them it will make the ban worse. IF they find out about your record and want to send you back to USA, be polite and follow their orders ..  i have crossed the border 7 times with no problem and have only one arrest on my record, A DUI back in 1997 .  I have not had a drink in almost 16 years and will not drive while I am in canada this winter as I take the train.  But i guess common sense is out the door when dealing with the beuracracy of the border and goverment.

snow's picture
snow
Offline
GREENHORN
Joined: 1/29/03

After all of this chatter about we Americans going into canada,kissing ass,paying duty for past deeds,I say screw'em,years ago it was a great deal with the money exchange,hell today our $ is in the shitter,no longer a good deal but the canadians want out money just as bad,I say  (again) keep your money here in the states,fishing is great here.

Would'nt it be nice if our border's were as secure along mexico? Just think of the revenue that comes across the border down there daily.

Perazzi usa
Benelli usa
Briley Chokes
 

johnr's picture
johnr
Offline
GREENHORN
Joined: 2/18/04

espringers Said:
I've got no info for ya... But this..."he actually thinks he may have gotten two duis in one day"... Is funny as hell. Ohhhh to be young again! Good luck on ur Christmas trip. What new law passed in march are u talking about?

That is a classic. 

Neat

wstnodak's picture
wstnodak
Offline
Joined: 11/3/02

johnr Said:

espringers Said:
I've got no info for ya... But this..."he actually thinks he may have gotten two duis in one day"... Is funny as hell. Ohhhh to be young again! Good luck on ur Christmas trip. What new law passed in march are u talking about?

That is a classic. 

hahahahahaha!

If god didn't want us to eat animals....he wouldn't have made them out of food.

johnr's picture
johnr
Offline
GREENHORN
Joined: 2/18/04

Neat

littlelulu's picture
littlelulu
Offline
Joined: 11/7/12

It's not a new "law" but in March of this year Canada relaxed their stance on allowing entry.  I understand that if you only have one DUI and it's over 10 years old you should have no problem entering.  You can't have any other convictions and no more than one DUI.  Evidently this relaxed stance after lobbying from Canadian tourism board as they were losing a lot of $.

Jimbobjake - sounds like you fit into this category thus you have no problem entering. 

I don't think my husband fits in this category.  He is certain he got two DUI's in one day.  His background check reflects only one.  I would think the background information the border has is more accurate than the one I ran on him and would pick up on the two in one day deal he got in 1986.  From what I gather the systems were updated to include everything about everyone which is why people who used to enter Canada with no problem all of a sudden were denied entry.  There is a chance they only gave him credit for one when this was done?  Even so he has a subsequent misdemeanor conviction the following year for "Drive with no valid drivers license" and "Obstructing a public servant" thus would not fit into the relaxed category of ten plus years and only one offense. 

He has traveled to Canada many times without any problems since those DUI's in 1986 however not since 9 11.  The Queen welcomed us to England twice this past summer with no concerns and I assume the UK has similar access to his information.  He had to renew his passport last year and his has a computer chip in it which I assume contains all pertinent information including criminal history. 

We are friendly, polite, professional... and will be traveling to Canada with hotel reservations for a family christmas get away/ski trip.  I know that many people who cross the border in their vehicles never even get asked if they have been arrested however these are also people who have never been arrested.  I don't think we fit a profile of someone who warrants additional screening at the border but what I am uncertain of is if when we get to the border and hand the border agent our passports if they scan them and automatically my husband has a do not allow that will be on a computer screen because of the issues in 1986.  If this is the case, we should not bother even trying.  If the border patrol agent is simply checking vehicles, checking passports to make sure they are valid, sees that we are obviously going to Canada for a ski trip with our children... then I would think we have no problems.

Our family has traveled pretty extensively in and outside of the US with no concerns.  I would just hate to drive all the way to the border and have some fiasco and end up losing non refundable hotel reservations at a very expensive hotel and the let down of telling our kids that daddy can't get in because he was bad when he was kid.  He has told them he was a wild teen but it would still not be too fun losing out on our christmas vacation. 

jimjakebob's picture
jimjakebob
Offline
Joined: 1/5/10

HI littlelulu,

Thank u for bringing to my attention that I am now legally allowed to enter canada with one DUI which is from 1997, which makes it over 10 years old. It is my only arrest. I am almost 53 years old and no longer drink and I dont even own a car.  It amazes me how money and political persuasion changed this draconian law.   

I agree with you.  You are risking being turned back with a criminal record.  Your chance of crossing the border with no problem is high because they dont check everyone.  But there is a risk you can be turned back.  There is no other country in the world beside canada that turns americans away for decades old misdemeanors.  Of course, if you have a warrant, then u wouild not even be able to get on the plane in the states if you were flying overseas.  Have u ever heard of anyone being sent back from france or england for a past conviction of anykind?  Of course not.  If there is an active warrant that might pop up either in the states when you get on the plane or even from Interpol which would be a factor when you got offf the plane in england.  But it would have to be a very serious felony to be arrested on the spot at the airport and extradited back to USA.  

I use to sweat at the border when I crossed because I knew  I just crossed the border with a DUI.  I crossed the border about two or three times without even being aware of this draconian law.  I actually lied once.  They asked me once in 7 crossings.  The agent asked me "Have I ever been brought before a judge"  is how he worded it.
I said no.  The worst he would do is send me back to USA and ban me for a period of time from going into Canada.

As a single man who was just going up to Canada for vacation,  It is not the worst thing for me to be sent back although it would be very bad.   Last year I did not go to Canada because I got tired of the 100 questions they ask as if I am a fugitive or terrorist.  They treat even small babies with suspicions.  Its ridiculous and sad what the world has become.

About 25 years ago I drove up to Quebec City and I did not even come to a complete stop.  The guy shouted from his booth where are you going and I said skiing and he waved his hand for me to continue thru.  He did not leave his booth and I did not even come to a complete stop.  Now they are searching and Xraying cars.  Its sadd we are living in a police state.

I will go up to Canada this year by train and dont have to sweat this time.  But if the Agent ask me if I have ever been arrested I still would say no.  If he has to ask, he is not doing his job. I dont volunteer anything.   

Its hard to beleive your husband got two DUI convictions in one day. 99% of the courts would merge those into one.  I know people who had two before their first court day for the first one and they always merge the charges with a plea and no trial. Ia m almost positive your husband only has one DUI on his record.  But is other misdmeanors could become a problem when you cross.

 
I am not going to tell you to risk it at the border this year, but I will say the odds are you will cross the border okay.  They dont have the time to check everyone.  If you are polite and are a familiy at the border that can only help.  
Please let me know what you decide.

This January I am taking Amtrak to Montreal for I think the 8th time and I am relived I am actually going legally even though I crossed 7 times with a DUI with no problems

GOOD LUCK littlelulu.  


CWS's picture
CWS
Offline
GREENHORN
Joined: 4/29/12

He had to renew his passport last year and his has a computer chip in it which I assume contains all pertinent information including criminal history. 

The chip in his passport doesnt have any personal info on it, just what is on the Bio page of the passport, its still a matter of running a name in NCIC to obtain a criminal record, is doesnt just "pop-up".  As far as "fitting the profile"  for additional screening, for the most part officers at the border treat every inspection the same, with the same questions.  Just keep in the back of your head when the officer is asking questions that you dont know why he is asking:   do you know what a terrorist looks like?  Do you know what the profile is of somebody who smuggles goods into Canada?  Do you know what a person looks like that had a DUI in the 80's?  Nobody does, thats why they ask these questions and do additional screening if they feel its necessary.

johnr's picture
johnr
Offline
GREENHORN
Joined: 2/18/04

CWS Said:
He had to renew his passport last year and his has a computer chip in it which I assume contains all pertinent information including criminal history. 

The chip in his passport doesnt have any personal info on it, just what is on the Bio page of the passport, its still a matter of running a name in NCIC to obtain a criminal record, is doesnt just "pop-up".  As far as "fitting the profile"  for additional screening, for the most part officers at the border treat every inspection the same, with the same questions.  Just keep in the back of your head when the officer is asking questions that you dont know why he is asking:   do you know what a terrorist looks like?  Do you know what the profile is of somebody who smuggles goods into Canada?  Do you know what a person looks like that had a DUI in the 80's?  Nobody does, thats why they ask these questions and do additional screening if they feel its neces

On this one I think I do, but it is politically incorrect to use

Neat

littlelulu's picture
littlelulu
Offline
Joined: 11/7/12

Thanks for the opinions and information.  I talked to my husband and he called the border.  He talked to a very nice Canadian and explained our situation/his past record.  He was told that he was not allowed into Canada. 

He could go through a lengthy process that would take up to a year however who knows if actual records of his arrests are even obtainable from 26 years ago.  The only reason I can see going through this process would be if one of our daughters some how moved there. 

I'm so glad I researched this prior to showing up at the border and potentially losing  thousands of dollars on our vacation.  Right now I can cancel and lose first nights hotel. 

I really am thankful that we have tight borders that are in place to serve and protect.  Knowing my husband as long as I have, it seems crazy that he's one of the people Canada needs to protect their citizens from.  He truly is one the most stable, level headed, reliable persons I know who has been a role model to myself, his kids and community. 

Neither of us condone drinking and driving.  I know he's paid his debt to society but it just goes to show you that one's past does stick with you and bad behavior as a youth does have consequences... even 26 years later if you want to go to Canada. 

johnr's picture
johnr
Offline
GREENHORN
Joined: 2/18/04

Canada blows

Neat

eyexer's picture
eyexer
Offline
GREENHORN
Joined: 2/28/07

littlelulu Said:
Thanks for the opinions and information.  I talked to my husband and he called the border.  He talked to a very nice Canadian and explained our situation/his past record.  He was told that he was not allowed into Canada. 

He could go through a lengthy process that would take up to a year however who knows if actual records of his arrests are even obtainable from 26 years ago.  The only reason I can see going through this process would be if one of our daughters some how moved there. 

I'm so glad I researched this prior to showing up at the border and potentially losing  thousands of dollars on our vacation.  Right now I can cancel and lose first nights hotel. 

I really am thankful that we have tight borders that are in place to serve and protect.  Knowing my husband as long as I have, it seems crazy that he's one of the people Canada needs to protect their citizens from.  He truly is one the most stable, level headed, reliable persons I know who has been a role model to myself, his kids and community. 

Neither of us condone drinking and driving.  I know he's paid his debt to society but it just goes to show you that one's past does stick with you and bad behavior as a youth does have consequences... even 26 years later if you want to go to Canada. 

but what's mind boggling is that Canada is one of the easiest countries to enter.  unless your a U.S.citizen

 

jimjakebob's picture
jimjakebob
Offline
Joined: 1/5/10

littlelulu.  You are making the right decision.  If you had no reservations and would not lose money if you were sent back and a ban  for a period was not a problem, I definitly say risk it.  But there is a chance you would be sent back. Wise not to chance it considering the circumstances u present.

I will go up to Canada for the 8th time this year.  Legally I think.  But if they ask me if I have ever been arrested I will still say no.  If they know the answer to this they should not ask me.   They could send me back for lying even though I am going legally.  I go to Canada with no  hotel reservations so I would not lose money.  I am going by myself.  So if I get sent back its not the end of the world although it would be very bad.  I would not lose money.  Just time and a wasted train ticket although the train ride is very pretty for sure.

johnr you say "Canada Blows"  I dont know if your american but canada is merely recipricating for the Draconia laws the USA has on its books.  The USA has the same rules as the Canadians and the US implemented it first and Canada is either complying with the US request for a stricter border or retaliating for the USA's policies.  I dont know which one it is.

Littlelulu, I know its ridiculous your husband is deemed a threat to Canada being he is a responsible  adult now.  Think how I feel.  I am 15.5 years sober, absolutley no alchohol, and I dont even drive and I was deemed inadmissable by Canada Laws until recently.

But the Canadian  goverment determined that money and lost tourism revenue and the complaining from the tourism people is more important than public safety which is why they intiallly decided to refuse entry to people with DUI's . If that is not prostitiution then I dont know what is.  The policies are driven by money and politics, not common sense.


bontop2's picture
bontop2
Offline
GREENHORN
Joined: 11/19/05

Canada has some amazing hunting and fishing opportunities that I would love to be able to take advantage of but I too have had my run ins with the law.  I rarely drink a beer now but still can't go into Canada.  I know alot of guys that have had DUI's that go and still get in.  But my luck I'd ruin the whole trip for everybody.  I just try to look at it this way.  I live in what I consider one of the best states for hunting and fishing a guy could ask for so if they don't want my money screw em! 

Hunt today like there may be no tomorrow!

BIGmistakeinjersey's picture
BIGmistakeinjersey
Offline
Joined: 1/12/13

 Hi all,

New to this site, and found it on my search on this topic...

I got a DUI in New jersey about 2 years ago, a big mistake which i have learned from.

Anyway, I am looking to go to Canada. My lawyer told me because in New Jersey a DUI is not a felony OR a misdamenor, it is merley a traffic violation i shouldn't have a problem..

Any idea of this would come up at the border, and if they ask me if I've been arrested, wouldn't the answer be no since it's a traffic violation?

Thanks all for the input

Goosefishmen's picture
Goosefishmen
Offline
Joined: 5/7/09

 Say no, good luck.

There is no limit on a Good Time!!

Goosefishmen's picture
Goosefishmen
Offline
Joined: 5/7/09

 Say no, good luck.

There is no limit on a Good Time!!

Jig4Pig's picture
Jig4Pig
Offline
Joined: 3/7/10

BIGmistakeinjersey Said:
 Hi all,

New to this site, and found it on my search on this topic...

I got a DUI in New jersey about 2 years ago, a big mistake which i have learned from.

Anyway, I am looking to go to Canada. My lawyer told me because in New Jersey a DUI is not a felony OR a misdamenor, it is merley a traffic violation i shouldn't have a problem..

Any idea of this would come up at the border, and if they ask me if I've been arrested, wouldn't the answer be no since it's a traffic violation?

Thanks all for the input

YOU ARE A FELON!!!    In Canada.

Jig4Pig's picture
Jig4Pig
Offline
Joined: 3/7/10

And say no.

Bowhuntin's picture
Bowhuntin
Offline
GREENHORN
Joined: 11/17/03

I started this thread over 5 years ago, amazed it still goes on and on like this. Your attorney hasn't studied up much on Canadian laws I'm guessing. Here's a real unique idea, call the port of entry you will be passing through and ask them the question. And I'm talking about the port on the Canadian side, not the one on the state side. Guarantee you will get the correct information, and guarantee it will surprise you from your post.

Bowhuntin's picture
Bowhuntin
Offline
GREENHORN
Joined: 11/17/03

Oh, and the part about what to say if they ask? I don't know the DUI laws in NJ but I'm assuming you were placed under arrest at the time? When they ask a question at the border, like who owns the vehicle, or when the last time you were in Canada, or have you ever been arrested, they already know the answer to the question, they are seeing if you also know the right answer.

jimjakebob's picture
jimjakebob
Offline
Joined: 1/5/10

Hi bigmistakeinNewJersey,

I am from New Jersey and cross the Canadian Border Everyyear.

Yes DUI is a traffic offense in New Jersey and not a misdemeanor or felony.  Their is no Federal record of your crime since you were never fingerprinted or mug shotted.  I have crossed the border about  a dozen times since my DUI in New jersey 16 years ago.

I have never had a problem.  The reason is I believe Canadian Customs does not have access to motor vehicle records from the states.  They only have FBI criminal arrest records.  New Jersey treats this as a traffic offense and not a criminal offense so Motor vehicle can legally get an extra $3000 out of you in surcharges.If it is criminal offense they cannot not.

The canadian governerment was turning down thousand of tourist and millions of dollars of people with DUI' from 30 years ago or more.  The tourist people in Canada complained and as of March 1 2012  U can now enter Canada with one DUI for only one visit .  Google and you will see the new law on the books.

I guess the Canadian govt realized that this draconian law is not as important as money for the struggling canadian economy. So you can legally go to canada now with one DUI.  If they ask still say no.  If they know the answer to the question they are asking, they should not be asking it.  

BIGmistakeinjersey's picture
BIGmistakeinjersey
Offline
Joined: 1/12/13

Your cryptic response leads me to believe you don't think I'll get in. Got their number? 

Bowhuntin Said:
I started this thread over 5 years ago, amazed it still goes on and on like this. Your attorney hasn't studied up much on Canadian laws I'm guessing. Here's a real unique idea, call the port of entry you will be passing through and ask them the question. And I'm talking about the port on the Canadian side, not the one on the state side. Guarantee you will get the correct information, and guarantee it will surprise you from your post.
jimjakebob's picture
jimjakebob
Offline
Joined: 1/5/10

Hi farnworth.

Just crossed the border going into montreal with a 16 year old DUI for the 10th time.

I cant beleive i got a jaywalking ticket in montreal. it was 20 below and officer gave me a ticket.

I pleaded not guilty with explanation.  officer said light was yellow when i entered.

I said right foot was on the ground when light was green .  I will never pay the $41 if they convict me.  

Can i go back to canada with this civil judgement against me.  I went to the montreal munciipal court and they told me it will become $200 if i dont pay.

I hope they dismiss it but if they dont i may never go back to canada or risk  it .

 

Pages