As if it weren’t already immensely difficult to get into Canada after being convicted of a DUI or Physical Control in Washington State, in 2018 the Canadians took it upon themselves to make it even more difficult. Last year Canada amended its criminal code to create more significant consequences for those convicted of DUI. The law took effect in December of 2018.
So how does the new law affect entry into Canada for those with a DUI or Physical Control in Washington State? DUI offenders are deemed to have been convicted of offenses of ‘serious criminality’ and are thus deemed inadmissible into the country for ten years. That said, after five years a DUI offender can apply for an “approval of rehabilitation,” which is often granted, and prior to five years one can obtain entry into Canada by obtaining a Temporary Resident Permit.
What is the impact of the amendment? Well … for one, no longer will someone convicted of DUI be automatically deemed rehabilitated after ten years. They can seek “approval of rehabilitation” after five years but that serious criminality designation means that the application and review process will likely become more difficult and restrictive in nature. The same is true for those seeking a Temporary Resident Permit.
What about convictions for lesser offenses like Negligent Driving First Degree and Reckless Driving reduced from a DUI or Physical Control charge? Like in years past, Canada has always treated convictions for charges reduced from DUI, such as Reckless Driving and Negligent Driving in the First Degree, the same as it does the DUI itself. So the admissibility into Canada with one of these reduced charges may be problematic too, just like with a DUI itself.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI, you should immediately contact a Seattle DUI defense attorney. A qualified and respected Seattle DUI lawyer, among other things, can quite possibly save the aggrieved person thousands of dollars in court and insurance fees, the extent of loss of privilege to drive, and the amount of jail time to be served. We have said it before and will say it again, Washington DUI laws are far too complicated for any ol’ attorney to handle. Be smart and consult with a qualified and skilled Seattle DUI attorney when arrested for an alcohol and/or drug related DUI in Washington State. SQ Attorneys is here to help – (206) 441-1600.