Now that it’s November, people are officially in “holiday mode”
and are thinking about and booking their flights for the holidays. If
you were recently arrested for
driving under the influence (DUI) and you plan to travel abroad this holiday season, you’re
probably wondering, “Can I get a passport with a DUI conviction?”
When a driver is convicted of DUI in Orange County, California or anywhere
else in the state, they generally face a number of
penalties, such as fines, probation, AA classes, DUI School, attending a MADD victim
impact panel, a driver’s
license suspension and more.
Considering the consequences of a DUI, it’s understandable why someone
might think that their passport would be denied, but fortunately, this
is not typically the case. As a general rule, California drivers are not
prohibited from obtaining a passport if they are convicted of DUI, even a
In other words, a driver’s passport privileges are not
automatically revoked because they are convicted of DUI. However, that does not mean that their
travelling privileges cannot be restricted after a DUI conviction, because it is
possible. A person can be barred from international travel if:
- The judge forbids them from travelling abroad as a part of their condition
of probation or parole,
- The defendant is considered a “flight risk,”
- The defendant is facing serious felony charges, or
- The defendant was arrested for a federal offense.
Other Countries May Impose a Travel Restriction
When a California driver is convicted (found guilty of) of a misdemeanor
DUI, they should not have any trouble obtaining a U.S. passport unless
a judge says otherwise due to special circumstances. While the U.S. may
not bar them from obtaining a passport, other countries may impose restrictions,
strictly prohibiting the individual from visiting their country.
As a matter of fact, our neighbor,
Canada is the most notable example of a country that frowns upon DUI convictions.
Canada reserves the right to bar people with DUI convictions (misdemeanor
and felony convictions for DUI of alcohol or drugs) from entering the country.
Canada considers DUI a serious crime and if someone has a recent DUI conviction,
it will bar the U.S. citizen from entering. Is there any way to get around
this? There are ways, but they are limited. One of the best ways to gain
entry into Canada after a
DUI arrest is to
avoid a DUI conviction in the first place.
If you’re facing DUI charges and you’re concerned that a conviction
may affect your ability to travel internationally,
contact our office for a free consultation with a Board Certified DUI defense specialist!