New Canadian Law Blocks Convicted Drunk Drivers from Entering Canada

Law applies to convictions moving forward

Tom Puckett
December 18, 2018 - 4:00 am

Peace Bridge Plaza (American side). October 17, 2018. (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)


Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Starting today, a new law takes effect in Canada that can impact your ability to cross the border. That is, if you're convicted of drunk driving.

The Canadian government now considers drunk driving a serious enough conviction to deny entry into Canada. But if you've previously had a conviction, attorney Rosanna Berardi says not to worry. "The law does not look backwards, so if you have a DWI conviction from 2012, you don't have to worry about the change. But if you get one moving forward it will be tougher to get into Canada," says Berardi.

Berardi says if you end up with a DWI after today, she says there are a couple of ways to be granted admission into Canada. "You can get a temporary entry permit, but that is given for extreme circumstances. To get a permanent rehabilitation permit to enter Canada, you have to wait five years to make the application," says Berardi. "Usually if you can show evidence of rehabilitation and the fact the conviction was a moment of bad judgment, the Canadian government is usually welcoming in issuing those permits," but she warns it could take up to a year to get that permit after mailing the application.


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