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Traveling and a San Diego DUI

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2015 | Firm News |

I have a case now where my client works in the film industry and a DUI conviction may hinder his job because of the frequency his work takes him to Canada.

When people are convicted of drunk driving offenses, they face a range of restrictions, including a suspended license and the possibility of not being able to drive without an Ignition Interlock Device.  This can hinder somebody who travels for their job and uses a rental car or needs to go abroad. Very few rental car companies have the interlock ignition device in their vehicles.  Considering that your license can be suspended for a DUI conviction, it’s natural to think that a passport may be affected as well, however, that’s not typically the case.

Generally, your ability to get a passport should not be affected by your DUI conviction. More the of the issue when the court places an order, or as a condition of probation or parole. Additionally, if the court believes that a defendant is a flight risk, or facing a felony-related subpoena, then the court could have their passport privileges revoked.

The Interlock ignition device is a term that the prosecution in San Diego wants with most high BAC cases, priors, or when there is a collision.  It is key to advocate taking of the term when your client travels.


While DUI defendants can usually obtain a U.S. passport without any problem, they can face restrictions when it comes to travelling to certain countries. Canada for example, reserves the right to deny entry to foreigners who have a criminal record history of any kind.

Even if you have a valid U.S. passport, as long as you have a misdemeanor or felony conviction for DUI, Canada may not let you visit the country; Mexico may refuse too. If you have a felony DUI on your record and you travel to Canada or Mexico by ship, you won’t be allowed to disembark onto foreign soil. So, while you can obtain a U.S. passport, you may have no place to go.

Although your DUI shouldn’t affect your ability to obtain a passport, it is wise for you to consult with a San Diego attorney with experience like the Law Offices of Mark Deniz.

If you or someone you love is charged with a DUI you need to call our office now at 858-751-4384 for a free consultation

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