Think Americas DUI Penalties are Tough? Try These Countries!

Posted by: Russell Hebets       11-Jun-2014       (0) Comments        Back to Main Blog

In some small towns in Turkey, if your BAC is above 0.05%, you’re driven 20 miles out of town and are forced to walk back to the police station, escorted by the officers driving next to you.

In France, the legal BAC limit is 0.05%. You must have a Breathalyzer in your car. In fact, there’s a fine for not having one.

Denmark’s legal BAC limit is 0.05%. After repeat offenses, your vehicle is impounded.

In Ukraine, the legal BAC limit is 0.02%. So, one drink will do it. If you have multiple DUIs, your license is permanently revoked.

Australia’s legal BAC limit ranges from zero tolerance to 0.05%, depending on the province. Australia uses public shaming as a punishment for a DUI. In addition to fines and possible jail time, all the names of offenders are published in the local newspapers under the headline “He’s Drunk and in Jail.” Side note – police officers in Australia can pull anyone over to administer a BAC test. They don’t need a traffic violation or other probable cause to stop you.

In Brazil, a BAC between 0.01% and 0.06% gets you a fine and one year license suspension. Anything above 0.06 is considered a criminal offense and deals much more severe consequences.

China’s legal BAC limit is 0.02%. The punishment for having a BAC higher than 0.02% includes jail time, fines, and a potential license suspension of up to 5 years. If you caused an accident with casualties, you’re sentenced to death.

If you’re married and living in Malaysia, a BAC of 0.05% gets both you and your spouse thrown in jail.

Singapore’s legal BAC limit is 0.08%. The punishment includes a reasonable fine- the equivalent of $150 US dollars. Oh, and flogging.

Japan has a zero tolerance policy. In addition to fines and jail time, if you caused an accident with casualties, you lose your license for life. Drivers aren’t the only ones punished for a DUI. If you’re a passenger in a drunk driver’s car, you also receive a fine.

In South Africa, having a BAC higher than 0.05% (0.02% if you drive a taxi) gets you jail time, possible license suspension, and a hefty fine of the equivalent of $11,000 US dollars.

Costa Rica’s legal BAC limit is 0.075%. To stop you from driving again, the police will remove the license plates from your car.

Bulgaria’s legal BAC limit is 0.05%. After your second conviction, you’re sentenced to death.

However, no country’s punishment is as severe as El Salvador’s. First time DUI offender? Sorry. You’re going straight to the firing squad.

The lesson? Don’t drink and drive in any country. (Especially in El Salvador.)


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