The short answer is: “Yes;” however, it depends to which country you are traveling. You are free to travel anywhere within the United States, but it gets tricky when trying to travel out of the country. Virtually all countries consider any crime a reason to refuse to let you into their borders. Individual countries may deny you admission into their country or put a restriction on the frequency of your visits due to a pending DUI or conviction.
Can You Travel to Canada After a DUI Arrest?
One country that is extremely strict about letting people enter with a DUI pending is our closest neighbor, Canada. In Canada, DUI is a felony. If you have a pending DUI, sometimes Canada will let you in, while other times they may not. We have had clients both admitted at the border and also turned away. There does not appear to be a reason why some people are let in, and others are not.
After a DUI Conviction:
If you are convicted of a DUI, Canada will not allow you inside their borders for ten years. Even if your case is reduced to reckless driving, they may not allow you to travel into Canada for ten years. Remember, this is a foreign country that can set its laws and rules. Even after ten years, Canada can change their policy and thereby modify the length of the ban on travel. You do not have a right to travel to Canada. The fact that they are our closest neighbor sometimes confuses people about that reality.
How About Travel To Other Counties after a DUI Arrest?
If attempting to enter Mexico, a DUI conviction within the past ten years may hinder you from entering the country. Some people have had no issue with traveling to Mexico with a DUI conviction, but it depends on the circumstances. Mexico tends to view the facts of the prior case and makes a decision on a case by case basis.
Europe is a little more lenient with DUI convictions, and most countries in Europe consider them to be a misdemeanor as long as no one was harmed. Therefore, you should not have a problem when traveling to Europe.
That being said, it is important to reveal any criminal offense on your Visa application to avoid being turned around after a long flight over the Atlantic Ocean.
If you have questions about whether you will be allowed into a country, it would be beneficial to call an immigration lawyer. Every case is unique; the result for someone else may not be the result for you. It is imperative that you do the research before you travel so you do not end up having to cancel plans because you cannot get into that country.