There might be a problem with a drunk driving arrest on a road trip. Because there’s always a likely possibility while traveling that the police could pull you over, for something. Either speeding, not observing the rules of the road, failure to yield the right-of-way or not wearing a seatbelt. These are just some of the minor reasons that out of town drivers get pulled over. In case this does happen, the officer will ask for your license, insurance information and registration. Having an in-car monitoring system is a good way to both show your steps forward but also to stay on the straight and narrow. Places like Low Cost Interlock make products that can force you to obey laws and regulations even before you run into any officers on the road. If they perform a computer check of your name, your fingerprints will be in the system. Fingerprints for any type of arrest are entered into a national database. But again, unless there are an arrest and conviction, you shouldn’t have any real problems.
Sometimes paperwork gets screwed up or lost in the computer clutter. When you have past traffic citations and tickets, you need to visit your local DMV or online to check your driver’s license status. This is one of the precautions to take before renting a car to begin the trip. Unpaid traffic tickets and citations could result in your license being suspended. Depending on how many infractions that you’ve had and the length of time that has past. Make sure your records have been updated and all fines for outstanding violations are paid.
Now let’s say that you have a past drunk driving conviction, but you paid a fine or perform other corrective actions, and there are other minor infractions. Then go to the DMV and get a printout, showing your driving history. Traveling anywhere by car shouldn’t be a problem if you have proof that your license is clean. That it isn’t restricted, suspended or revoked. Besides, you are going to need it if you’re planning on renting a car. Even if you’re driving your own personal vehicle, keep the print out in the glove box, along with other important documents.
These days major car rental companies are more concerned with property damages and liabilities than they use to be. Now most rental agencies, run a DMV check. Yet, there are others that only perform a visual check to make sure that the license is valid. Again, the checklist begins with being prepared with a copy of your driving history. And if there’s a drunk driving conviction that’s been cleared, have your case documents with you.
When you do plan on visiting Canada by car and have a past driving while intoxicated conviction, there could be problems crossing the border. In the US, if a driver has fixed the problems with his license, then road travel is not restricted. But in Canada, an American with a DUI conviction is seen as a criminal. You could be denied from crossing into the country. Sometimes, if you present the legal paperwork, and there is only one conviction, Canadian authorities will consider entry on a case by case basis.
Can’t stress it enough, the first necessary step before taking a trip by car is visiting the DMV. Have them give you a physical copy of your driver’s license history. The best trips are the ones with the least problems. Don’t ruin your trip with excessive worries. Just plan ahead and avoid drawing unwanted attention, from local police patrols, by being proactive. Also beforehand, take a detailed look at your insurance documents and registration cards.