Even though driving under the influence is always frowned upon, some people still don’t respect the law. Many end up getting DUI convictions, despite knowing that driving after drinking puts themselves and other people in danger. It also leads to a criminal record that can affect different aspects of their lives.
For example, a DUI can affect your ability to travel outside the U.S. This is because certain countries have laws in place that prevent people with a DUI from crossing the borders.
That being said, if you’ve planned a vacation abroad but you’ve gotten a DUI recently, you should look into the country you want to visit so you don’t have unpleasant surprises later. Here are some countries that you will be unable to enter after getting a DUI:
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As a U.S. citizen, it will be very hard for you to enter Canada if you have a DUI conviction. In Canada, impaired driving is a felony. So, for at least the next five years after you were convicted, you won’t be allowed to enter Canada.
After this period ends, you can either apply for criminal rehabilitation or pay a fine worth $200 as long as your criminal history is clean apart from the DUI. People who don’t want to enter the country for the next 10 years may also be considered “rehabilitated by time”.
Before Japan allows anyone to step on its land, it will do background checks. They will try to find out if you have any misdemeanors or crimes in your history, so they will find out about it even if you’re dishonest.
People convicted of a DUI will also have a very difficult time if they want to go to Mexico. Usually, those who drove under the influence during the last 10 years will not be allowed to enter the country.
In some cases, guards from the Mexican border have let some travelers enter without too much examination, but you shouldn’t rely on this. It should come as no surprise to you if you are refused entrance due to a DUI conviction.
New Zealand is a gorgeous country, and if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, chances are that you want to visit this magical land and see the spots where famous scenes of the trilogy were filmed.
Sadly, your dreams may be ruined if you have a DUI, especially if the conviction occurred during the last five years. If you want to enter New Zealand, you will have to obtain a good character waiver.
But if your DUI conviction occurred more than 5 years ago, then you should be allowed to travel to New Zealand. Just keep in mind that in order to check your record, the officials may want you to apply for a visa and not an ETA.
5.United Arab Emirates
DUI laws are quite rough in the United Arab Emirates, and this is mainly due to the country following the Muslim scripture. Drinking alcohol is a sin in the scripture, so it’s not a surprise that the Emirates take DUI convictions seriously.
Now, travelers will not necessarily be prevented from entering the UAE with a DUI, but it may be harder to enter one of the countries if you have any convictions related to alcohol. Your immigration officer and their opinion and scrutiny regarding such offenses will influence how complicated your entry will be.
Australia may not let you step on its territory if you have a DUI sentence that is over 12 months. This applies even if the whole sentence wasn’t served.
Therefore, you shouldn’t apply for an ETA, but rather for a visa if you want to overcome this situation.
It might also be harder for you to enter Malaysia if you have any crimes or misdemeanors in your history. The country will conduct background checks for anyone who wants to visit the country.
Just like in the case of Japan, you shouldn’t lie regarding your criminal past. Always be honest, because the authorities would be able to find out about it anyways. You should also reach out to the U.S. Consulate to find out what to do if you’re dealing with this scenario.
Even if you did your best to escape your DUI conviction and hired the best DUI lawyers, some countries may stop you from visiting if you have a DUI on your record. Make sure to research the laws of a country regarding driving under the influence so you’re always prepared.