If having a DUI wasn’t already a struggle, future travel plans may make life a bit more complicated. Can you still travel internationally with a DUI? Unfortunately, having a DUI or related charges may restrict you from traveling to certain countries. We’re here to detail which countries have restrictions and which don’t. Additionally, we’ll reveal how life can still be exciting and enjoyable without driving.
Countries With DUI Restrictions
Before you start dusting off your passport and planning your itinerary, you must be informed and where you could possibly be restricted to travel if you have a DUI. Every country’s travel policy is unique and varies depending on the severity and number of charges a traveler has.
Canada is considered perhaps the most strict country when it comes to prohibiting travelers with a DUI. In Canada, impaired driving is considered a felony. As a result, this makes those with a history of driving while intoxicated altogether difficult. While the country restricts anyone with a DUI from entering, there are some loopholes to this rule.
The best chance of avoiding Canada’s travel ban is for those with a DUI conviction who didn’t receive a jail sentence and who otherwise have a clean criminal record of paying a $200 fine. Five years after the conviction, it’s also possible to file for criminal rehabilitation, which may reestablish your eligibility for immigration into Canada. However, those who served jail time or have previous charges may not be allowed to travel to Canada.
Another nation that strictly prosecutes DUI offenders is Mexico. Since Mexico’s immigration regulations see DUIs as an indictable violation, similar to a felony, foreigners with recent criminal convictions for drunk driving are typically denied entrance.
The DUI charges must be recent for Mexican authorities to deny entry. This means if your DUI charges are within the past ten years, you will not be allowed into the country. If you’re unsure whether your specific DUI charge is or isn’t allowed, contact your closest Mexican consulate for further advice.
Dubai and Persian Gulf Countries (UAE)
As a country with strictly conservative policies, it’s no wonder DUI travelers are not entirely welcome. However, there’s no law that restricts those with DUI charges, but alcohol-related charges may not help your case when attempting to enter.
Travelers concerned about having a DUI on their record should call the consulate in advance for advice on whether immigration will inquire about prior misdemeanors and how to handle that situation should it arise. Entry is frequently up to the discretion of the immigration officer in these situations.
China, Japan, and Malaysia
These three countries are the only ones in East Asia where your DUI charges may pose a problem. When it comes to applying for a travel visa in these countries, they do ask whether you have been charged with any crimes or misdemeanors in your home country. Seeing DUI charges may affect their decision upon your entry.
However, honesty is key here. Lying about any crimes on your visa application will certainly look worse to these authorities than the DUI charges themselves. By earnestly providing all details within your application, they will have a higher chance of allowing you into the country.
Although New Zealand does not allow travelers with a DUI entry, this is only for those with severe charges. This would include those who were in jail for twelve months or more within the last ten months. Additionally, those who received a prison sentence of five years or more may not be able to travel to New Zealand.
A sentence of twelve months or more means you will be denied entrance into Australia. Even if you did not complete the entire sentence, you might not be allowed to travel. However, if your charges weren’t severe and your sentence was less than twelve months, traveling and even working in Australia is entirely welcome.
It’s vital to keep in mind that while filling out Australian immigration forms and disclosures, honesty is essential. While a DUI would not prevent entry, if you lied on your form about anything else, including past convictions, you risk being denied entry for providing false information.
Although the United States is more relaxed, it should still be noted that the U.S. does bar some people with criminal charges. Visitors with a history of “crime involving moral turpitude,” which normally refers to intentional crime, can be turned away from the United States. Normal DUI convictions don’t typically include charges of intent unless there is an aggravating circumstance; thus, visitors shouldn’t be discouraged from visiting the U.S. because of a routine DUI.
Countries Open to Those with a DUI
Now for the fun part. Fortunately, there are many countries with no restrictions on those with DUIs. The list is exceedingly long, meaning your options are aplenty. Countries such as Cuba, Dominican Republic, India, Thailand, and South Korea are all open to those with a history of DUI convictions. Meanwhile, the entire European Union is also free to all travelers. The European Union includes all of the following member countries:
- The Netherlands
- Czech Republic
Life Without Driving: How to Still Enjoy Traveling
Traveling without driving should not deter you whatsoever. Consider riding a bicycle in the fresh breeze of Denmark or taking a train throughout the scenic land of Poland. Your options are truly unlimited. There are plenty of alternate (and fun) modes of transportation you can enjoy both in your travels and in your everyday life. If you’re restricted from driving, there will always be the charms of trains, boats, buses, taxis, bikes, skateboards, and more!
Life with a DUI doesn’t have to feel confined. Travel and freedom are still yours to claim, and so is a life without stress and mental health strains. At Buena Vista Recovery, we offer various forms of therapeutic treatment to help you recover from the trauma of receiving a DUI and perhaps alcohol addiction as well. With our first-class mental health professionals and board-certified physicians, you can trust that your mental health is in good hands. With treatments including group therapy, individual counseling, trauma-focused therapy, and more, we’re certain you can find the right program for you. We offer a range of treatment approaches at our Arizona rehab facility, so we can individualize a program based on the various issues you are dealing with and your unique nature and journey. Discover how you can reach mental clarity and peace by contacting Buena Vista Recovery at (480) 741-9414.