If you have been recently arrested for DUI and plan on traveling to Canada, you may face some obstacles.

For context, Canadian immigration officials sometimes ask foreign nationals entering by foot, car, bus, train, boat, or plane whether they have ever been arrested.  By the official’s training, experience, and hunches, follow-up questions would depend on the traveler’s answer and demeanor.

If you are planning on traveling to Canada in the near future and have recently been arrested for DUI you should be aware you may face admissibility to the Country.  Many attorneys believe that either the traveler’s admission of a DUI arrest, or the confirmation by digital record of a DUI arrest, without more, may be enough to trigger inadmissibility.

Top Torrance Criminal Lawyer
Matthew Ruff, Torrance Criminal Defense Attorney

Some foreign nationals pass through with no questions at all.  It depends on staffing, how busy they are, and a profiling algorithm.  If entering by plane, officials may have passenger lists they can research ahead of time.

But just about every border crossing will have electronic passport scanners that can instantly bring up a criminal history.  Importantly, they don’t access state records; only data from the FBI National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

Here are details on how to check to see what’s in the NCIC database, prudent for any U.S. citizen heading to Canada with any doubt as to what will show up :


It used to take a month or more to obtain that FBI Identity History Summary.  But it’s now much faster.  What’s there and what’s not there is critical, including arrests, convictions, dismissals, and acquittals.  Sometimes the information there is incorrect or incomplete, depending on whether, when, and how accurately the data is sent there by local law enforcement agencies and courts.

Matthew Ruff is a Torrance DUI Lawyer with nearly 30 years experience defending drivers accused of all manner of alcohol and drug related charges.

About thetorranceattorney

Matthew Ruff is a Torrance criminal defense attorney located near the 405 freeway on Crenshaw Blvd. Focusing on DUI and serious criminal cases for over twenty five years. In addition to criminal cases, Matthew also defends clients at the DMV regarding license suspension hearings stemming from drunk driving arrests.
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