Many people underestimate the effects of a drink-driving conviction. It could influence numerous aspects of your life. Besides the obvious consequence that you won’t be able to drive any kind of vehicle for a determined period of time, you will also have to pay a fine. Compared to other situations when only penalty points are added to your record because some mistake you made in traffic, getting a drink-drive conviction will go straight to your criminal record instead. A person that has a criminal record will find it difficult to find a place to work, a university to study, or even to travel around the world. There are countries that have harsher immigration policies that don’t allow people who were found guilty of DUI (Drinking Under the Influence) to enter their territory. Even though it might seem odd at first, this is how serious drinking and driving is.
When the summer vacation is just around the corner and you would like to take advantage of it and travel, you are stopped by one obstacle that will ruin the entire experience in minutes. You should note the legal limits that you are given once you were caught driving a vehicle after consuming alcohol. Surprisingly, not many people know about the drinking and driving regulations in their country, thus believing that the penalties applied are just the same as in other conditions. In fact, it’s a much more different situation. Drinking and driving put your own life at risk, while also involving the other traffic participants. This is the reason why laws are so strict, especially in those parts of the world where the nation is known for its love of alcohol. If you are planning to travel soon, here’s what you should keep in mind:
Know the Blood Alcohol Content limits
The BAC limits differ from one country to another. You can’t assume that each country you visit has the same BAC. Before traveling to a foreign country by car, inform yourself about the limits that the country set for drinking and driving. In some cases, the BAC is zero, meaning that the respective country has no tolerance for those who consumed alcohol before driving. A few of these states are Brazil, Colombia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Israel, Romania, Slovakia, Saudi Arabia and more. If you are planning to travel by car in one of these states and you are coming from a state where a small BAC is allowed, keep in mind that you will need to face legal consequences in these states.
A BAC limit of 0.02 was established for China, Norway, Poland, Sweden and more, while one of 0.03 is present in countries such as India, Japan, Uruguay or Russia. In Lithuania or Mexico, the limit is 0.04. Even though some people wouldn’t expect, the most numerous countries have a generous BAC limit of 0.05. These countries include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, Thailand, Spain, Turkey, and many others. The Bahamas, as well as Puerto Rico, Singapore or England have a BAC limit of 0.08. In the Cayman Islands, you can drive safely after consuming a few sips of alcohol, as the limit is no less than 1.
Hire an attorney
Even so, you might find yourself in the situation of being accused of driving under the influence of alcohol in a zero-tolerance country. What your options are? Depending on the country’s regulations, you could face jail time and receive tremendous fines that you’ll find impossible to pay. Once you’re pulled over and charged with a drink-driving conviction, you don’t have any choice other than facing the consequences. There’s one thing you can do that might get you out of trouble, even during your holiday trips – DUI attorneys. The popular belief is that hiring an attorney is too expensive. It can actually help you save money on your DUI case in the long run. An attorney that knows the law very well can reduce the fees and fines you will pay to the court.
DUI attorneys are the ones who handle cases where DUI incidents were involved. The biggest benefit of hiring a DUI attorney is that the situation will be legally handled properly, regardless of the final verdict. Your attorney can defend you by bringing solid arguments into the court, thus saving you from having a criminal record of DUI that can impact multiple aspects of your life, besides the traveling one. If you want to save yourself from such a tricky situation, it would be best to ask for the help of a professional. Without an attorney, you risk facing consequences that are much more serious that they would be without being supported in court. Moreover, DUI attorneys can help you keep your license if the case is won instead of having it kept by the police for another few months (or even more than one year in some countries).
Understand the punishments and consequences
Just like the BAC limit, each country has its own regulations regarding how they legally punish people who break the law. The severity of the punishment differs, and it’s best to learn more about these regulations before traveling to a foreign country. Of course, the easiest way to avoid the whole situation from happening is not driving after you’ve consumed alcohol or drugs, including over-the-counter drugs that can influence your driving capabilities. Besides the obvious consequence that your traveling trip will be ruined, you can spend time in jail if you are not legally represented in court. In many jurisdictions, you will have to prove a significant drop in your BAC test result to be released of all charges. It all depends on how the respective country handles DUI cases. The consequences might be even more serious when the drink-driving conviction happens while using a rented car, a common practice among travelers.