Drunk driving is drunk driving, no matter where you live. In the U.S., each state follows the “per se” rule for legal intoxication. That is, if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above .08 percent at the time of your arrest, you are guilty of a drunk driving offense. When you live close to a state line, you should already know that invisible border does not prevent you from driving while intoxicated, nor does it prevent a DWI conviction and those consequences. But, when you live in another country and are charged with a DWI in the U.S., how closely must you follow your court sentence?
If you live in Canada, for instance, and you are convicted of a DWI in New York, you are in violation of “Leandra’s Law.” You will be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device, despite your residence in Canada. Your driver’s license, however, will not have that designation,and you will be monitored by a New York State probation office for your compliance. Fortunately, there are plenty of New York State ignition interlock service providers that are able to navigate this situation for you and keeping you on the road, no matter which side of the border you drive.
Being from another country that borders the U.S. does not mean you are untouchable when it comes to various laws, especially when you drink and drive. Your citizenship does not stop your vehicle from being a potential danger to everyone on the road, and the consequences for your actions are no different than residents of the U.S. And, just like the U.S. citizens who think they are sober enough to drive, your best choice is to plan ahead when you know you will be drinking… even when you are drinking far away from home.