Getting a USA visa (travelling to america with a drink driving conviction)

Convicted Driver Insurance

price1367

TTC Group
I think that he will be fine to go down the ESTA route.
In 1995 the question that was asked on paperwork was “have you ever been arrested for any offence (involving moral turpitude)
The problem was that this was not defined.
Now the question on the ESTA form, which was introduced in 2017 with the same question, but was amended a few years ago, is: “have you.been arrested for any offence which involved serious injury to a person, significant damage to property or been involved in serious loss to your Government?” (As in tax evasion)
It seems he can honestly answer “yes” to that and is therefore eligible to go down the ESTA route.
 

Lilly61234

New member
Hi
Thanks for your reply. We have decided to go down the visa route as I could not cope with him getting pulled at the airport & he agreed in the end. We’ve booked his interview etc now so at least we have done that part.
It’s quite an easy trip to London for him so it’s just the cost of it all & the hassle
I do feel incredibly annoyed as 10 years ago I rang the US consulate for advice & they said he definitely needed a visa. Anyway it’s done now.
My husband said last time he was there there were people with traffic offences who were waiting with him.
The whole thing needs clearing up at the US consular.
Fingers crossed he gets another 10 years!!
We haven’t made any concrete plans yet,he has his interview next month.
Thanks anyway & I wish I could just have relaxed about it all & gone the esta way but it’s I think it would have been flagged up & I would have been a bag of nerves before we went & on the plane.
 

price1367

TTC Group
I had a typo in my last reply, ESTA was introduced in 2007 not 2017.
10 years ago the US embassy would simply say “If you have any doubts then you should apply for a visa and we will interview you.” Well I never heard of anyone applying and being told that they did NOT need a visa. I spoke to the US embassy to get advice to give people on our Drink Drive Rehabilitation courses but they would not give blanket advice on the phone as every case could be different.
Since the wording on the ESTA form was changed the position is clear. So long as you have not caused significant injury in an accident, or caused considerable damage to property (other than your own car) then you can honestly answer NO to the offences question and therefore be eligible to use the ESTA scheme.
The position might be difficult for multiple Drink Drive convictions because the US authorities could consider this to be a ‘mental impairment’ (yes, I have seen this used to refuse entry, even on a visa application) but that is for another discussion.......
 

Lilly61234

New member
I had a typo in my last reply, ESTA was introduced in 2007 not 2017.
10 years ago the US embassy would simply say “If you have any doubts then you should apply for a visa and we will interview you.” Well I never heard of anyone applying and being told that they did NOT need a visa. I spoke to the US embassy to get advice to give people on our Drink Drive Rehabilitation courses but they would not give blanket advice on the phone as every case could be different.
Since the wording on the ESTA form was changed the position is clear. So long as you have not caused significant injury in an accident, or caused considerable damage to property (other than your own car) then you can honestly answer NO to the offences question and therefore be eligible to use the ESTA scheme.
The position might be difficult for multiple Drink Drive convictions because the US authorities could consider this to be a ‘mental impairment’ (yes, I have seen this used to refuse entry, even on a visa application) but that is for another discussion.......
Thanks for your answer
It’s too late now as we have done his forms & booked his appointment
I really wish I’d believe that he would have been ok with the esta & should have at least tried to see if he got one approved.
I am quite a nervous person & was too worried about the journey when we do go to the US. Which is why we ended up doing this in the first place!!
In 2029 we will get an esta lol
 

Western1

New member
Hi guys quick question please. I have a ten year visa which runs out late next year. I have just been done for dd would I need to reapply for a visa or can I still use my current one? Grateful thanks for your help
 

price1367

TTC Group
You will be fine to continue to use the visa. Just remember that you cannot use your UK licence to drive in the USA because it is not valid here. You have to be the HOLDER of your national driving licence to use it in another country.
 

price1367

TTC Group
Ignore this advert above, spam advertising from a US firm. They earn money from you just clicking the link and it is useless!
 

_Jrch

Member
I know it’s an old thread but I’m after some advice. I was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in October 2020 - blowing 100 classifying me as a High risk offender. I hit a parked car, however I believe I was only convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol as I only had one charge on my charge sheet - no one was harmed or injured. Was a stupid mistake and deeply regret it everyday. I was given a 28month ban, community order and a fine.

I’m looking to travel to America with some friends in the spring (covid permitting) and I’ve researched throughly regarding the ESTA and visa route. As this was my only ever conviction, the ESTA would seemingly still apply to me.

However, as the DVLA and court classified me as a HRO, would the esta still be applicable?

Cheers in advance.
 

Woozle47

Well-known member
I know it’s an old thread but I’m after some advice. I was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in October 2020 - blowing 100 classifying me as a High risk offender. I hit a parked car, however I believe I was only convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol as I only had one charge on my charge sheet - no one was harmed or injured. Was a stupid mistake and deeply regret it everyday. I was given a 28month ban, community order and a fine.

I’m looking to travel to America with some friends in the spring (covid permitting) and I’ve researched throughly regarding the ESTA and visa route. As this was my only ever conviction, the ESTA would seemingly still apply to me.

However, as the DVLA and court classified me as a HRO, would the esta still be applicable?

Cheers in advance.
If 'only charged' with a DUI you are fine to go down the ESTA route. If you go onto the USA CBP website it clearly states that the US will not deny entry to any individual who has a single DUI conviction - but multiple DUI's or any other crimal conviction will change this ruling. If what you say is true, on the ESTA application you can simply tick 'no' to the 'have you any criminal convictions'...and enjoy your holiday.
 

price1367

TTC Group
JRCH, from what you have described, you are fine to answer ‘no’ to the arrest question and visit via the ESTA route
 

_Jrch

Member
Thank you both for the reply. This is what I thought but the wording of the question is slightly ambiguous. I did damage another persons property as a result of the conviction. However, the offence committed was not one intended on damaging property such as arson etc. I was only charged with driving under the influence as I checked on the DVLA website last night and this was the only thing mentioned.

Just wanted another opinion as I’ve been stressing over it myself due to the fact that my visa would not be processed in time.

Thank you both for your replies.
 

price1367

TTC Group
Damage relates to “significant damage”…. Just hitting one other car would be unlikely to be classed as that.
 

_Jrch

Member
Also my theory is (I am not one to lie about anything) is that due to the conviction stating that I was ‘driving under the influence’ and not having any mention that I hit a parked car, would surely not flag up on their system? If it had a slight inclination of doing so, I would probably not bother going on the trip as I would have to apply for subsequent visa which would not come in time.

I’m aware the wording on the moral turpitude question has changed over the years, however I read this question as: have you committed a crime that you have committed intently has caused damage to property or a person (such as arson, criminal damage, burglary etc).

When i (in the loosest terms) have drove under the influence of alcohol but had an accident and was solely convicted of driving under the influence of excess alcohol.

Obviously, I don’t want to risk going out to Vegas on only an assumption, however I believe this to be within the law of admission as I was not convicted of anything else other than driving under the influence. Furthermore, from what everyone else has said in regards to their comments, when you’re out there the questions being fairly standard, hopefully I will be ok.

Judging from your previous comments, price - you are incredibly more knowledgeable than me so your reply would be greatly appreciated.

Best regrads and merry Christmas everybody,

J.
 

price1367

TTC Group
The question on the form is this:
“Have you ever been arrested or convicted for a crime that resulted in serious damage to property, or serious harm to another person or government authority?”
For a ‘simple’ drink drive case them you can answer ‘No’ to that question.
I have dealt with thousands of people over 15 years on drink drive courses. When the subject of travel to the USA came up a lot of people said that they had visited under the Visa Waiver Scheme (ESTA) and had no problem at all after answering ‘no’ to the offence question.
I did come across some people who had answered ‘yes’ to the question and therefore had to go down the visa route. A couple of those had been refused entry on medical grounds because drink driving had been classed as ‘mental impairment’ !!
If you have more than 1 conviction for drink driving then that might be viewed as being more serious.

Finally, the US Authorities do not have access to our criminal record system, they have to request that our authorities supply them with information. I recall reading an article in The Times where they were asked: “would you supply information to the US that a person was a convicted drink driver?” And the answer was “yes” then the question was “What if the person was no longer disqualified?” And the answer was “Why would we do that?”
 

Luna2000

Well-known member
I know Canada bans you from entry for 10 years from the date of conviction, but I would assume that Canada like the USA, will not have access to the UK Criminal Records Database, so what is there to stop you traveling there under their Visa Waiver programme, and not declaring the conviction?

Yes, you run the risk that if selected for a random check, you could be denied entry, but again, they would need to contact the UK to get that information if you didn't tell them.

The last paragraph of price367's answer is interesting as I would have thought the question asked by American and Canadian authorities would be 'Has this person any convictions' not simply drink driving convictions.
 

price1367

TTC Group
I know Canada bans you from entry for 10 years from the date of conviction, but I would assume that Canada like the USA, will not have access to the UK Criminal Records Database, so what is there to stop you traveling there under their Visa Waiver programme, and not declaring the conviction?

Yes, you run the risk that if selected for a random check, you could be denied entry, but again, they would need to contact the UK to get that information if you didn't tell them.

The last paragraph of price367's answer is interesting as I would have thought the question asked by American and Canadian authorities would be 'Has this person any convictions' not simply drink driving convictions.
The reason that the question was asked about a drink drive conviction only was that is what the article was about. The authorities would indeed ask for details of any relevant convictions, and some details may well be supplied but the article indicated that the UK authorities would consider it relevant if the person was currently disqualified, but not relevant if it was a historic drink drive conviction. (The person writing the article had himself been convicted of drink driving and was writing about his experiences)

Re Canada and disclosing convictions, you may be right, but why risk spoiling the holiday of a lifetime by taking a chance that you would be selected for a random check? I would speculate that with Canada being a part of the Commonwealth, the UK authorities might be more willing to share information with them versus the USA, who of course opted out of British rule quite a while ago!
Having been to a number of countries in the world, I have found that entering Canada and the USA to be the most daunting of all. They are polite but very officious. I found myself feeling quite nervous waiting to approach the border control officers….. and I had a clear conscious! Imagine if you had hidden something in your application, they would smell the fear and that is what they are looking for when deciding who to look into further.
 

Woozle47

Well-known member
I know Canada bans you from entry for 10 years from the date of conviction, but I would assume that Canada like the USA, will not have access to the UK Criminal Records Database, so what is there to stop you traveling there under their Visa Waiver programme, and not declaring the conviction?

Yes, you run the risk that if selected for a random check, you could be denied entry, but again, they would need to contact the UK to get that information if you didn't tell them.

The last paragraph of price367's answer is interesting as I would have thought the question asked by American and Canadian authorities would be 'Has this person any convictions' not simply drink driving convictions.
The last paragraph of price367's answer is interesting as I would have thought the question asked by American and Canadian authorities would be 'Has this person any convictions' not simply drink driving convictions.

Regarding DUI, Canada's border control consider this as a 'no entry' for first time offenders , second time etc...(UK & all other countries) for at least 10 years. The US, however, does not deny entry to any person from another country with 1 DUI. If you possess any other convictions entry would obviously change this stance.
 
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Luna2000

Well-known member
The last paragraph of price367's answer is interesting as I would have thought the question asked by American and Canadian authorities would be 'Has this person any convictions' not simply drink driving convictions.

Regarding DUI, Canada's border control consider this as a 'no entry' for first time offenders , second time etc...(UK & all other countries) for at least 10 years. The US, however, does not deny entry to any person from another country with 1 DUI. If you possess any other convictions entry would obviously change this stance.
For the USA you are asked as price1367 mentioned;

“Have you ever been arrested or convicted for a crime that resulted in serious damage to property, or serious harm to another person or government authority?”

So if you were simply convicted of drink driving with no damage to any property or anyone else, then you can in all good conscience answer No, to this question regardless of how many times you have been convicted (in my case twice.)

It might help if you have been to the States previously without any issues.
 

_Jrch

Member
The question on the form is this:
“Have you ever been arrested or convicted for a crime that resulted in serious damage to property, or serious harm to another person or government authority?”
For a ‘simple’ drink drive case them you can answer ‘No’ to that question.
I have dealt with thousands of people over 15 years on drink drive courses. When the subject of travel to the USA came up a lot of people said that they had visited under the Visa Waiver Scheme (ESTA) and had no problem at all after answering ‘no’ to the offence question.
I did come across some people who had answered ‘yes’ to the question and therefore had to go down the visa route. A couple of those had been refused entry on medical grounds because drink driving had been classed as ‘mental impairment’ !!
If you have more than 1 conviction for drink driving then that might be viewed as being more serious.

Finally, the US Authorities do not have access to our criminal record system, they have to request that our authorities supply them with information. I recall reading an article in The Times where they were asked: “would you supply information to the US that a person was a convicted drink driver?” And the answer was “yes” then the question was “What if the person was no longer disqualified?” And the answer was “Why would we do that?”
I assume the vast majority of these people were simply stopped for dui instead of crashing though mate?

Also I will still be disqualified from driving so will this flag me up in any way? As I’m just paranoid I’ll answer no on the ESTA, get to CBP and it comes up on their system I’ve been convicted, with details that i was involved in a collision. Therefore denying me entry.

I would go through the visa route but it won’t be processed in time I shouldn’t think.
 
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