Travelling: How has it affected you?

SillySausage123

Well-known member
I've spent the day scouring the internet on people's experiences of travelling outside the UK, for example to Japan, China and USA.

From what little I've read, it seems even with 1 Drink Driving (DD) / DUI conviction it looks like it can be extremely difficult, or simply a roll of the dice to get into a non European country (particularly if you declare it at Immigration).

I have friends in Canada, and we are all to the 'getting married' phases of our lives and it seems to be a no-go for at least 5 years from conviction. So, so demoralising.

What has your travel experience been like?

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grice96

Well-known member
I can give my own experience with the US, I have a holiday booked for March to New York and had no problem with the visa waiver. I declared my conviction and it was processed in the same time it took for 2 other family members who all applied on the same day. I'm sure I would run into issues trying to get a working visa but for a holiday visa I was fine

Canada is a no go for 10 years unfortunately not for 5, I had planned to emigrate to Canada once I had finished uni but you have to be 10 years free from conviction with no additional convictions within that 10 years to be deemed rehabilitated and be granted access to the country.

I would be interested in hearing other people's experiences too, I currently have a cousin who is out working in Australia with a drink driving conviction so it is possible.
 

SillySausage123

Well-known member
Oh, you stated on the ESTA that you have committed a crime of Moral Turpitude?! I've read DD does not warrant checking yes for this... Or have they changed the wording of the waiver form now? Would be interesting to know the questions that they asked if you remember.

Man, DD (Drink/Drug Driving) should be included as part of the requirements to obtaining a Drivers License - So many repercussions and seems to be the only motoring offence (other than the obvious injuring someone / dangerous driving) that can lead to a criminal conviction...
 

grice96

Well-known member
There was a question which was as follows, "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?"

I was involved in a collision with councel property and a parked car that amounted to £5000. Due to this I had to answer yes to this question. If it had have just been drink driving on its own I could have answered no to everything.

I agree with you completely, the training which I received at the drink driving rehabilitation course should be given to every driver pre driving test. At a minimum every driver should have to know how to do a calculation of units to time until safe to drive. I've shocked some of my friends by telling them just how long they would be unsafe to drive for following a heavy night out. If I took what I used to drink as a fresher at college and applied a back calculation to that I was shocked to find it was nearly 2 days before I would have been safe to drive!!
 

SillySausage123

Well-known member
The majority of people in Britain drive and a high % of the British population drinks alcohol - it should definitely be a mandatory thing.

It's a matter of formalisation that each individual is made aware of the full impact that being convicted of Drink Driving can have on one's life; for yourself and others. Then there's completely no excuse once caught.

I'm not saying I remember everything from my theory test, but I sure as hell remember the process of taking it.

But anyway...
 

SillySausage123

Well-known member
I've read from other people's experiences that for Japan, by ticking no to the question;

Have you ever been arrested in Japan or any other country?

You're fine to go through as they do not have the means to check. But be aware that this is a lie, and if you are caught you may not be able to enter Japan again.

But, if you tick yes - they take you to the back of their interview room and question you to determine the following:

1) A Foreign National who falls under any of the following items is denied permission to land in Japan:
...
(iv) a person who has been convicted of a violation of any law or regulation of Japan, or of any other country, and has been sentenced to imprisonment or imprisonment for 1 year or more, or to an equivalent penalty; provided, however, that this does not apply to those convicted of a political offense;

(v) a person who has been convicted of a violation of any law or regulation of Japan or of any other country relating to the control of narcotics, marijuana, opium, stimulants or psychotropic substances, and has been sentenced to a penalty;


There's also a line there about prostitution.
 
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grice96

Well-known member
I agree with you completely there should be a compulsory basic level of training given in regards to alcohol. We all know that you aren't allowed to drink drive but most of us do not know how long after drinking that we are still not able to drive. One man on my awareness course was caught 2 days after a particularly heavy family wedding and was still over the limit. Since I was banned in NI I've just had to re-do my theory test after getting my licence back, out of the 700 practise questions only 2 related to drink and they were about how drink would effect your reaction times and neither of the questions came up on the actual theory!

Problem with that for Japan is, if you say no you will more than likely be fine and get through. But if you are randomly selected for background checking you will have no grounds to stand on as you will have misrepresented yourself to immigration and you would be sent packing. Where as if you do declare it you'll face an interview, I would rather be interviewed than be sent home from an already paid holiday.

As far as I was made aware at the drink driving awareness course, it is only really Canada that will reject us (only bloody country I wanted to go to lol). Every other country will issue a holiday visa with little problem, it's getting a working visa that's the issue with a criminal record.
 

jimdavis

Well-known member
Hi Grice,

I also would love to move to Canada but my criminal drink drive record worries me regarding this issue.
I therefore applied to the Police for a Subject Access Request to find out what records were held against me
on the PNC.
The PNC record came back as clear with no record.

Due to advice from this site I then applied for a Subject Access Request to the local Police force who
prosecuted me for drink driving in order to check any records that were held on the PND.
Five months later I haven't received any reply to this request.

Therefore despite my Subject Access Requests, I have no idea if I still have a drink drive criminal record or not
and seemingly neither have the Police force.

I thought it would be easy to discover if I still had a criminal record or not.
Unfortunately that isn't the case despite the Subject Access Request mechanism.
 

grice96

Well-known member
Hi Jim, after 5 years your criminal record check should come back as clean as your conviction is spent. On an international criminal record check, the type used by immigration offials your spent offences will still appear.

This is how Canada is able to enforce its 10 years without conviction = rehabilitated rule. I have been rejected for a 3 month working visa for Canada, I wanted to go this summer to test the water for emigrating after university and that's when all of these rules came to light for me. It was mentioned at the drink driving rehabilitation course that Canada is strict but I didn't know just how strict.

10 years conviction free must elapse between the time you were convicted for DD and the application for a Canadian visa for your application to be considered. It really put a spanner in the works for me and I've had to come to terms with no being able to emigrate with my friends who are going next year. All part and parcel to the decision I made to pick up my keys after a drink last July.
 

jimdavis

Well-known member
Hi Grice,

I think you will find that your UK drink drive criminal record wil be held until your 100th birthday.
A spent conviction in the UK doesn't apply because the ROA Act doesn't apply
to other countries.
 

price1367

TTC Group
Hi Grice,

I think you will find that your UK drink drive criminal record wil be held until your 100th birthday.
A spent conviction in the UK doesn't apply because the ROA Act doesn't apply
to other countries.
The poster was saying about Canada, they have a policy of not allowing anyone there who has a DUI conviction in the past 10 years. It even applies if you land in, say, Toronto and almost immediately take off to fly to another country. After that, you are free to go to Canada on a tourist visa, though you may have to jump through more hoops if you want a work visa. The ETA form (the Canadian version of the American ESTA) requires you to declare all previous convictions and to state the circumstances.

Hi Grice,

I also would love to move to Canada but my criminal drink drive record worries me regarding this issue.
I therefore applied to the Police for a Subject Access Request to find out what records were held against me
on the PNC.
The PNC record came back as clear with no record.

Due to advice from this site I then applied for a Subject Access Request to the local Police force who
prosecuted me for drink driving in order to check any records that were held on the PND.
Five months later I haven't received any reply to this request.

Therefore despite my Subject Access Requests, I have no idea if I still have a drink drive criminal record or not
and seemingly neither have the Police force.

I thought it would be easy to discover if I still had a criminal record or not.
Unfortunately that isn't the case despite the Subject Access Request mechanism.
If you have not had a reply to a SAR after 5 months, you should complain to the Information Commissioner as the Force has a legal obligation to respond. I think the limit is 40 days.
 
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jimdavis

Well-known member
Thanks Mr Price for your reply.
Rather than complain to the Information Commissioner, I re-submitted my SAR request to Avon & Somerset Police.
This morning I received a reply from them.
Here is the main paragraph from their reply:


"With reference to your recent Subject Access Request Form sent to the Data Protection Team.
The Data Protection Act 2018 places an obligation on Avon and Somerset constabulary when holding personal data, to provide a copy of that information to you upon request (unless an exemption applies). From the personal details supplied in your request I can advise you that there is no information the Chief Officer is required to supply to you under the provisions of the Act."

Is there any information that the Chief Officer is not required to supply?
Does that mean that they hold information on myself or not?
Recently I submitted an SAR to the PNC that came back clear.
I need to know if I still have a criminal record or not as I am planning to apply for employment
that requires an enhanced disclosure security check.
 

price1367

TTC Group
The exemption would apply to current information relating to an ongoing investigation.
Put simply, they could hold information that you were dealing drugs and were therefore in the process of planning to raid your house. It is data they hold, but clearly it would not be sensible to disclose this to you!
I think you can be confident that your criminal record is clear and you can apply for employment on that basis.
 

Woozle47

Active member
I can give my own experience with the US, I have a holiday booked for March to New York and had no problem with the visa waiver. I declared my conviction and it was processed in the same time it took for 2 other family members who all applied on the same day. I'm sure I would run into issues trying to get a working visa but for a holiday visa I was fine

Canada is a no go for 10 years unfortunately not for 5, I had planned to emigrate to Canada once I had finished uni but you have to be 10 years free from conviction with no additional convictions within that 10 years to be deemed rehabilitated and be granted access to the country.

I would be interested in hearing other people's experiences too, I currently have a cousin who is out working in Australia with a drink driving conviction so it is possible.
I have, this year, travelled to Spain, Switzerland, The Czech Republic & Barbados. I have a DR40 & 10 points but have not once been denied entry or car hire. All car hire was with the 'big companies' except for Barbados were all the lady did was fill out a piece of paper, nothing on computer. As long as you have a credit card, passport & unsuspended driving license your good to go. I've researched the US would be the same but would be interested for other's to share their experience regarding entry & car hire.
 

Woozle47

Active member
I have, this year, travelled to Spain, Switzerland, The Czech Republic & Barbados. I have a DR40 & 10 points but have not once been denied entry or car hire. All car hire was with the 'big companies' except for Barbados. All the lady did was fill out a piece of paper, nothing on computer. As long as you have a credit card, passport & unsuspended driving license your good to go. I've researched the US would be the same but would be interested for other's to share their experience regarding entry & car hire.

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