We all know that if you're convicted for OUI here in Maine that you're going to lose your license for a period of time. Right now, that time period is 150 days for a first offense; 3 years for a second offense and 6 years for a third offense. But what else can happen besides the obvious such as jail and a loss of license? Well, you will be deemed inadmissible in Canada. Canada treats an OUI conviction as a felony, which will bar you from entering Canada for a period of at least 10 years if it is your first offense and lifetime if you have a previous conviction.
How does Canada know if you have a Maine OUI conviction? Well, the Canadian authorities have access to your BMV/RMV/DMV records as well as your criminal history records when you pass through customs. That information is readily shared between the US and Canada. So if you planned a vacation or business trip to Montreal for example and attempt to gain admission to Canada at the airport in Montreal, they're going to tell you to hop a plane back to the States because you're not getting into Canada.
What about a BMV suspension where you weren't convicted for the OUI? While Maine doesn't treat a BMV suspension for an OUI as a conviction, Canada does. That means that even if your lawyer gets you off on the criminal case, if you lose the BMV suspension hearing, you're deemed inadmissible to Canada.
"Well, can't I just drive across the border and hope they don't catch on to my Maine OUI conviction/suspension?" NO! Even if you do manage to slip across the border, you are now subject to criminal penalties in Canada for entering the country as a prohibited person. At the very least, they can deport you immediately OR they could imprison you and then deport you. Not a happy scenario either way.
So, what do you do if you normally vacation or conduct business in Canada and have been arrested for an OUI somewhere in Maine? You pick up the phone and call my office. There are so many collateral consequences that people are unaware of and that accompany and OUI conviction or suspension that you need someone with the right training and background to guide you through the process.