If you have recently been charged with driving under the influence (DUI), your life has probably already been turned upside down. There are court dates in the future, possible alcohol education classes to attend, and your driving privileges have probably been or will be restricted. And those are just the problems and obstacles you're aware of now. Unfortunately, there may be a whole host of other issues that you'll have to deal with that you may not have even thought of. The following are just two of the many surprising ways that a DUI can further up-end your life.
In the ROTC? Maybe Not Anymore
If you are a student in college who is currently in college on an ROTC scholarship, you could actually be dis-enrolled from the program if you are convicted of driving under the influence. As bad as that is, it may sadly be just the beginning of what could be a very expensive nightmare. Why? Because you might be obligated to pay the scholarship money you have already received back to the government. That could leave you many thousands of dollars in debt. If paying this debt back is not an option, you might be required to serve your country on active duty without pay.
No Canada for You
Were you hoping to go hiking in Banff National Park in Alberta or to visit Toronto to see the Maple Leafs play hockey? You might have to cross those ideas off of your list of places to visit because if you are convicted of a DUI, there is a chance you won't be able to cross the border. Surprised? You're not alone. Not many people know it, but Canada reserves the right to refuse a person with a DUI or a DWI entry to their country. The justification for this is that foreign nationals who have a criminal record in the last 10 years are deemed inadmissible to Canada. You could take your chances and try to enter Canada, but a border officer could check your passport against their national database that lists all criminal convictions in the U.S. and stop you. Or you could:
- Obtain a Canada Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). You can apply for this permit if you were convicted of a DUI offense less than five years ago and have completed all of the terms of your sentence. As the name implies, this is a temporary permit that will allow you to be in Canada for a limited period of time, and you will have to specify the reason for your visit. While it is only good for a limited time period, you can apply for this permit multiple times.
- Apply for Criminal Rehabilitation. Sounds harsh, right? But in Canada, you are considered a criminal. And if it's now been between five and ten years since you completed the terms of your DUI sentence, you can apply for this solution, which will be permanent.
If you are considering a trip to Canada, you may want to talk to a lawyer who specializes in DUIs, such as one from Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham, LLC., to help you through these application processes. Fortunately, this is not something you will have to deal with forever. After 10 years, you will be deemed rehabilitated if you have no other offenses on your record.
These, unfortunately, are just two of the issues that you may not be aware of that could arise from having a DUI conviction on your record. Additionally, some employers will not hire someone with a DUI on their record. That is why it is so important to hire a lawyer who will proactively fight for you if you should be arrested on a drunk driving charge, especially if you believe that you have been wrongly accused.