A drunk driving arrest can be incredibly stressful for anyone. Your driving privileges, reputation and potentially your employment are all on the line.
For an undocumented immigrant, however, a DUI charge could also mean being deported – especially in light of the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration issues. As at least one prominent case has illustrated, your entire life could be uprooted, even if you have a clean record and play a strong role in your community.
If in doubt, keep off the roads
Staying under the radar is a must for undocumented immigrants. An arrest by local law enforcement could quickly land you in immigration court.
Driving is a big risk. The more time you spend on the roads, the higher your chances of getting pulled over. Of course, you should never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. However, even minor traffic violations – such as speeding, burnt-out taillights or improper lane changes – can potentially expose you to immigration consequences.
Consider making some lifestyle changes so you don’t have to drive. Take public transit instead, and if you’re heading home after a night out, opt for an Uber or cab rather than getting behind the wheel yourself.
Green card holders could be at risk, too
Certain criminal offenses can jeopardize your green card and result in deportation. Depending on the circumstances, drunk driving could fall into that category. That’s why it’s so important to keep a clean record and, if you do get arrested, to work with a trusted defense attorney.