How a DUI on Your Record Can Impact Your Travel Plans
Traveling is one of the many amazing activities you can do in life, exploring the world and experiencing all the planet has to offer. Whether that means visiting other cultures and far-off places or traveling to another state to see their beautiful sights. However, a DUI indictment can ruin all your travel plans and make it difficult, if not impossible, to go around the world as you please. To better understand what this means for possible travel, here’s what you need to know about DUIs on your record and possible travel plans.
A driver’s license is necessary for getting around in your vehicle, as you can’t legally drive without a license. That’s why license suspension is one of the consequences of driving while under the influence. While it’s possible to keep your license even when you have a DUI charge, most people will need to wait a period of time before getting their license back. Some states require more to get your license back, such as the SR-22 insurance in California.
Losing Your Identification
While license suspension has a much more significant impact on your ability to get around with your own vehicle, it can make it a lot harder to travel. Not only do you lack your own car, but you also lose one of the most accessible forms of identification. A driver’s license doubles as identification for many people, which is necessary when traveling by plane or to many places. While getting a state ID or other form of identification is possible, this can be a big obstacle for travel plans if you don’t have the time to get another form of identification.
Traveling in the States
When traveling with a license suspension, you can rest easy when going between the 48 contiguous states of America. As long as you aren’t the one behind the wheel, there’s nothing wrong with traveling between each state. Travel between the states doesn’t require a driver’s license and usually doesn’t require any form of identification. However, you should still bring along some form of identification in case you need to go somewhere that requires it.
Traveling outside the US can get much more complex and challenging when you’ve got a DUI charge on your record. Many countries have laws in place that deny or limit access to their country if you’re a criminal or specifically limit people with DUI charges. These limits change drastically depending on the country you’re trying to go to, with many places not caring about it, while others have total bans on people with a DUI charge.
Different Types of Charges
One of the crucial things to understand when it comes to traveling around the world while having a DUI charge is that the severity of the crime can have a significant impact. Depending on the situation and the court decision, a DUI charge may be a felony or a misdemeanor, which have vastly different implications. A felony is a more severe charge, while a misdemeanor is a crime but significantly less serious. This difference can greatly impact which countries will accept you as a traveler, as many will accept someone with only a misdemeanor charge.
If you do find that you want to go to a country or place that limits access to people with a DUI and you have one, you still have options available. You can apply to these countries for a travel waiver, which means that the government permits you specifically to go to that country when you normally can’t go. Getting a travel waiver means you’ll need to reach out to the governments of the place you want to travel to and then wait for them to approve the trip. Each country can have its own laws and procedures, and many will run a background check on you before approving to ensure that you’re a safe traveler.
Traveling to China and Japan
China and Japan are a few of the Asian countries that will deny entry if you’ve got a felony charge of a DUI. They may restrict your access on a case-by-case basis if you have a misdemeanor charge. You can talk to the US consulate to learn more about applying for a travel waiver and what you need to do to get access to these countries legally while having a DUI indictment.
Traveling to Canada
While Canada is normally an extremely easy destination to travel to as they share a border with the US, a DUI on your record can complicate things. Canada has some of the most intensive regulations for DUIs, and gaining access to the country may be impossible. Even if you’re not driving and swear not to, the Canadian government may still deny entry to the country.
Traveling to Australia
Australia is another nation where a DUI sentence can ruin your travel plans. The country may deny access to anyone with a DUI charge, even if it’s from a long time ago. You’ll need to apply for a travel waiver to get into this country if you have a DUI charge.
Traveling to Mexico
While DUI charges are either misdemeanors or felonies in America, Mexico considers all DUI charges as serious crimes. This means that you’ll likely have difficulty going to Mexico if you have a DUI on your record in the last 10 years, at least. While getting a travel waiver to go to Mexico with a DUI charge is possible, it can be difficult to get into the country.
Traveling to India
When you go to India, the current laws don’t require that you disclose your criminal records, so your DUI charge may not matter. However, every country can investigate anyone who wants to come in, and they may deny access if they find a DUI indictment. You should contact your consulate first and disclose any criminal charges to avoid problems in the future if you want to go to India.
All of this is to say that a DUI charge on your records can have a big impact on your travels in many ways. This is another reason you should never drive under the influence, as you risk the lives of others and yourself and can potentially lose exciting opportunities like traveling.