Traveling abroad? An adult child’s DUI can hinder vacation plans

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2022 | Drunk Driving |

With summer around the corner, you may be planning your annual family vacation. However, if you’re traveling internationally, your adult child’s guilty DUI conviction can limit where you go.

DUIs charges can lead to a host of consequences, including hefty fines and jail time. Some of the consequences aren’t immediately apparent. These include the increased insurance costs and stain on the criminal record. But they also include some more surprising twists, such as the fact some countries may turn away people with DUI convictions.

Countries with stringent drunk driving laws

Your adult child may struggle to enter these countries with a DUI:

  • Canada: Canada has some of the strictest drunk driving laws in the western world. Anyone convicted of a DUI in the last ten years can’t enter Canada unless they get a temporary or permanent waiver from Canadian officials. However, your adult child is unlikely to get one if you only visit the country on vacation.
  • Mexico: Like Canada, Mexico also has stringent drunk driving laws. American citizens with a DUI have entered Mexico successfully. However, if you’re traveling to Mexico this summer, you may be gambling on your adult child’s ability to enter. While Mexican officials can’t access US criminal records the same way Canadian officials can, they can uncover DUI charges through internet searches and court record databases.
  • United Arab Emirates: No specific law prevents travelers with a criminal record from entering the United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, locals often disapprove of alcohol-related offenses, so your adult child’s ability to get through customs may depend on the immigration officer they encounter.
  • New Zealand: New Zealand is known for strict drunk driving policies. If your adult child enters the country with a DUI, immigration officials may turn them away. Or, they may require your child to obtain a good character waiver to grant them entry.

A DUI can disrupt more than your family vacation

Few people facing DUI charges worry about their travel plans. Most wonder if they will face jail time or lose their licenses. Still, the fact that many countries turn people away with DUI convictions shows how far-reaching the secondary consequences can be.


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