Are you planning to travel to Canada any time in the near future? If you have a DUI on your record, you might have some difficulty visiting our northern neighbor. That's because the Canadian government recently announced the Electronic Travel Authorisation Program (ETA), which screens visitors priors to entering Canada. The program seeks to quickly determine which potential visitors are “inadmissible to Canada,” even before they board a plane.
But you don't need a serious felony on your record to be deemed inadmissible. Even a past DUI can block you from entering the country. According to Marisa Feil, an attorney at FWCanada, the new measure helps to reduce costs by eliminating resources that are specific to processing inadmissible individuals in Canada. The practice itself is nothing new; the Canadian government has long been in the business of screening potential visitors to Canada, but the screening process has proven largely inefficient and difficult to enforce. The new program changes all of that.
With the new system, travelers must enter their information into a program that instantly determines their eligibility for entry. If you have a past DUI on your record, and you attempt to access this program, you may be denied entry into Canada on the spot. Any arrest, from any time, is easily accessible by the border agent.
“We have current cases where people landed in Canada only to be unknowingly deemed as inadmissible to Canada due to a past DUI offense,” Feil said in a statement. “It is advisable to check for inadmissibility prior to purchasing the plane tickets.” Americans may be exempted from the new system, due to a security deal between the U.S. and Canada, but we're not yet entirely sure how the program will ultimately affect American citizens.
The new process is expected to be fully implemented by the beginning of 2015. If you have been charged with a DUI, it's very important that you hire a qualified attorney to help you fight your case. Consequences like license suspension, fines and even jail time are just the tip of the iceberg. What really matters is how a DUI conviction can damage your reputation and impact your rights.
If you currently face a Washington State DUI charge, call the DUI attorneys at Wolff Defense today at 425-284-2000, or visit us at WolffCriminalDefense.com. You can't beat a DUI charge without strong legal representation, and the consequences of a conviction are too great for you to remain complacent. Call us today.