What Happens If I Get a DUI in Another Country?

It’s easy to get carried away with a few extra drinks when on vacation in another country. Your mind is in neutral and you’re excited to let loose and have some fun. Though there’s nothing wrong with having a good time, you may make the mistake of getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking. If this happens and you are pulled over by a police officer, you may be arrested for a DUI, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If this happens to you, don’t panic. Each case is different and will have a different outcome. Though it’s important not to panic, there are a few very important things to know regarding this situation.

You May Get Banned from that Country

This is not a guaranteed consequence because as I have explained, every case is different. Being asked to leave the country or being banned from the country would be determined based off of any damages, fatalities, or serious injuries caused if you were involved in an accident.

It Can Affect Your Immigration Status

If you are not currently a United States citizen, but are in the process of becoming one or considering becoming one, a DUI in another country may affect this. You may or may not know that becoming a U.S. citizen requires the individual to fulfill the “good character” requirement. This means that no major felonies or crimes can be committed while applying to be a citizen. Crime can make you ineligible for citizenship.

It Might Affect Any Sentences You Have Gotten for Other Crimes

Getting a DUI in another county will effect your criminal record and in return may effect how you are sentenced for crimes you may commit while in America. You may receive a harsher punishment because you will technically be considered a repeat offender.

Your Case Must be Tried in that Country

Though you may be a U.S. citizen, you must follow the laws and procedures for the country that you are in during the incident. There is no way to get your case transferred to America. Your hearing, booking and sentencing will be overseen by their authorities and must follow all of their legal procedures. You can have your lawyer present throughout your trial and depending on the offense and country, the lawyer might be able to represent you without you being physically present.

If you get a DUI in another country, don’t panic. Instead weigh your options and see what suits you the best. Contacting a lawyer is a great place to start. More questions about an international DUI? Contact us here.


My name is Teresa, and I am a DUI lawyer, but that is only part of who I am. I have been practicing law in Connecticut since 2006.


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