Understanding where you can travel after a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) can be complicated. While drivers with a DUI can generally travel freely through their own countries, crossing a national border can sometimes prove difficult. For example, traveling across the Mexican border with a DUI is possible. However, your entry to either country may be denied in certain instances, particularly based on your unique history and criminal record.
You may be wondering if you can cross the Mexican border if you have a DUI. The United States and Mexico have different regulations for out-of-the-country DUI drivers. Review these regulations with the DUI attorney from our law firm.
Typically, it will be easier to enter the U.S. with a DUI from Mexico than it will be to enter Mexico from the U.S. with a DUI. If you have had a DUI within the last ten years, you will likely not be able to cross the border into Mexico.
The Impact of DUIs
Driving under the influence means that you were under the influence of alcohol or other substances and then operated a vehicle. Alcohol impairs your ability to think clearly. It can also impact your ability to respond to changes in road conditions or driving circumstances. For example, if you are intoxicated, you might not slow down or stop if you see an animal on the road. You might be less aware of other vehicles around you and collide with another driver.
Over one-fourth of traffic-related deaths in the U.S. are related to alcohol use. In addition, people can be seriously injured in situations involving a drunk driver. There can also be extensive vehicle or personal property damage.
Even if there is no damage, driving under the influence is illegal and can result in long-term consequences. Your ability to travel to other states may be impacted if you have been convicted of a DUI. For example, a DUI conviction might affect your ability to travel across the Mexico border, either to enter the U.S. or Mexico.
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Entering the United States with a DUI Conviction
The U.S. has numerous guidelines regarding individuals who may or may not be allowed to enter the country at the border. You could be refused entry into the country if you are convicted of:
- A crime of moral turpitude (CMT)
- A crime involving a controlled substance
- At least two crimes that led to incarceration of five years or more
Additionally, if you have an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it could allow the U.S. to refuse you admission into the country.
You should be aware that a single DUI conviction will not generally qualify as an inadmissible offense. However, you could be turned aside at the border if:
- You were convicted of several DUIs
- You committed a DUI with a child in the vehicle
- You committed a DUI with a previously suspended license
Entering Mexico with a DUI
Can you go to Mexico with a DUI? Unfortunately, it is more difficult to enter Mexico with a DUI conviction than to enter the U.S. According to Mexico’s legal statutes, you can be denied entry into the country if you violate a domestic law in your home country. This includes laws on drunk driving.
You cannot legally travel to Mexico with DUI convictions on your record. Border agents will look ten years into your record if you try to cross the border. Any DUIs within this time period will count against you.
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Traveling with DUI Convictions
As you can see, a conviction for DUI can increase the difficulty of traveling to new locations. This can be a significant challenge if you need to travel for work, to a friend’s wedding, or just to enjoy a vacation in a scenic locale.
It can be helpful to review the laws of where you want to travel and any barriers that may prevent you from traveling there. In addition, if you are arrested for a DUI, it can be extremely helpful to get prompt legal help. Working with a qualified criminal DUI defense lawyer can potentially reduce the impact your DUI accusation has on your ability to travel.
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Working with a Criminal Defense Lawyer to Help You with Your DUI
Fortunately, you may be able to handle future travel difficulties by getting help with DUI charges as soon as you are arrested. You can work with a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles if you are accused of a DUI in California. A DUI defense attorney will understand the specific laws and regulations that apply to your case and walk you through each part of your case.
A professional DUI lawyer can investigate your case and work to build a strong defense for you quickly after an arrest. Your lawyer could be able to:
- Get your charges reduced
- Get your charges dismissed
- Secure you a not guilty verdict in court
In a DUI case, your attorney offers you legal advice about how to proceed based on the unique circumstances of your case. Your lawyer will review what happened and gather evidence supporting your case to get the best deal possible for you.
Building Defenses for DUI Charges
Your attorney can use several strong defenses if you are charged with a DUI in California. Depending upon your situation, a DUI lawyer could demonstrate that:
- You were stopped without reasonable cause: For example, if you were obeying all traffic laws, an officer might not be able to prove that he stopped you under reasonable suspicion that you were intoxicated.
- You were operating a vehicle with a legally acceptable blood alcohol content (BAC). BAC has to be above a certain level for you to be convicted of a DUI.
- Your chemical tests were mis-administered by law enforcement officers. Mis-administered tests can cause misleading or false results.
You can improve your odds of successfully handling a DUI charge by getting help quickly. It is highly recommended that you do not discuss your DUI charges with anyone before you have spoken to a legal professional. Instead, contact a drunk driving accident lawyer in Burbank, California, immediately after an arrest.
Handling Prior DUI Convictions in California
Perhaps it is too late for you to fight a DUI charge. You may already have been convicted. Even in this circumstance, you have legal options. A DUI attorney in Los Angeles could be able to help you file for an expungement of your DUI conviction.
An expungement removes the records of your DUI from some criminal background checks. The DUI can stay on your driving record, but it may no longer impact your ability to enter Mexico following an expungement.
Note that expungements are not possible in all cases. However, if you paid any fines, carried out your license suspension, served time behind bars, and completed any other penalties handed down by the court for a DUI conviction, a lawyer could be able to help you.
Learn More by Contacting a DUI Defense Attorney Today
Protect your ability to travel freely between different countries by working with a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles. You can count on the team at Simmrin Law Group to help you handle a current DUI charge. We can also assist you with securing an expungement of a previous DUI conviction.
You may not be able to cross the Mexican border if you have a DUI. So, take steps to resolve this issue in the courtroom by contacting our office or filling out our online contact form to get a FREE case evaluation.