Michigan shares a rather large border with Canada and so it is very common for Michigan residents to travel to Canada for both business and pleasure. Being convicted of even a single instance of drunk driving can complicate such travel.
According to an excellent In and Out of Canada Article written by top DUI lawyer Wayne R. Foote:
Canadian inadmissibility is governed by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. It states that a Michigan resident is inadmissible if he or she committed a single “indictable” offense. This includes drunk driving.
Furthermore, Mr. Foote’s article indicates that if you’ve been convicted of more than one instance of drunk driving in Michigan then you can either wait ten years or after five years apply for “rehabilitation status.” If you’ve been convicted of “only” one Michigan drunk driving, then you need “only” wait five years.
If you can’t wait, or want to take a chance, you can seek a Temporary Resident Permit. The cost is between $200.00 and $1,000.00. It can be applied for and granted at the border, but waiting is risky. Applying before your trip can take six or more months.
If your Michigan drunk driving case is dismissed then you will still be able to get into Canada, but if it is reduced to something like impaired driving or reckless driving you may still have problems getting into Canada. A reduction to careless driving however will, like a dismissal, allow you to continue getting into Canada.
If you’ve been arrested in Michigan for drunk driving, and you think you may want to travel to Canada for business or pleasure, then you should do three things.