The consequence of a DWI in Minnesota is unpleasant. If it is your first conviction for a DWI, you could suffer one or more of the following: serve up to 90 days in jail, lose your driver’s license, be required to take an alcohol assessment, install an ignition interlock, mount special license plates that identify you as a convicted drunk driver and lose your vehicle.
If you have had more than one DWI, the penalties escalate, and your time in jail increases up to one year. If you are charged with a felony DWI, you could be looking at up to seven years in prison and up to $14,000 in fines.
These consequences are not the only ones you could face. Some of these consequences are not contained in the Minnesota statute.
For instance, over the Fourth of July weekend, many Minnesota anglers are planning a trip north to a lake cabin for some holiday fishing. Some may even be thinking of heading up to Canada for some international fishing.
If you have been arrested and convicted in the last five years on a DWI or DUI in the U.S., you may want to rethink your trip to the neighbor to the north. At the border, a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer can refuse your entry if you have a prior DWI conviction.
Canada has very strict rules concerning drunk driving, and a refusal of entry could occur if you were to fly into a Canadian city. You could lie to the custom’s officer, but the consequences of that lie could snowball into far more serious charges. If you drove a vehicle to the border, and the CBSA officer found you lied about a DWI conviction, you would likely be subjected to a very extensive search, and you never want to give law enforcement a reason to search your vehicle.
There are ways to enter Canada with a prior DWI conviction, but they take time and you need to plan in advance. With all of these complexities, it is best to avoid having a DWI conviction on your record, and if you have been arrested, to aggressively dispute any DWI charges.
Source: southernminn.com, “ASK A TROOPER: Entry into Canada with a DUI,” Troy Christianson, June 2, 2015