DUI Penalties in Foreign Countries

A DUI lawyer in Delaware recently posted a blog about the differences in penalties for a DUI here in the US and other countries:

The U.S. penalties for DUI are nothing compared to these countries. Do we need change?

DUI Penalties in foreign countries

  • In Australia, the names of intoxicated drivers are sent to the local paper and are printed under the heading: “He’s drunk and in jail”.
  • In Malaysia, the driver is jailed. If he is married, his wife is jailed, too.
  • In South Africa, the penalty is a ten-year prison sentence and the equivalent of $10,000 fine, or both.
  • In Turkey, drunks are taken ten miles from town by the police and forced to walk back under escort.
  • In Norway, the penalty is three weeks in jail at hard labor and one year loss of license. With a second offense within five years, the license is revoked for life.
  • In Russia, the license is revoked for life.
  • In England, drunk drivers face a one-year suspension of license, a $250 fine, and one year in jail.
  • In France, there is a three-year loss of license, one year in jail, and a $1,000 fine.

In contrast, here you can find The Legal Consequences of a DUI in Pennsylvania.

DUI is one of the most politically charged crimes in the United States.  There are a number of different lobbies that push for stiffer penalties for drunk driving convictions.  The question is: Are stiffer penalties the solution?  Various states have different DUI laws.  Are the ones with stricter penalties successful at reducing the incidence rate of DUI?  These are complex questions.  There needs to be independent and academically conducted research on the effectiveness of harsher penalties as either a specific or general deterrent to DUI.

Some countries offer those intoxicated a free ride home.  I don not advocate for that type of approach.  Other countries have great educational programs that help drivers realize the dangers of DUI.  Once again, only unbiased scientific research can help determine how to best tackle the problem.  Laws should be based on scientific data not solely on emotions or political pressure.

We can keep increasing the penalties until we have a death penalty for drunk driving but is that really the answer?  If simply harsh or harsher penalties and mandatory minimums were the solution, there already would not be drunk driving.  The solution must be elsewhere.


-Justin J. McShane, Esquire, Pennsylvania DUI Attorney

I am the highest rated DUI Attorney in PA as Rated by Avvo.com

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Harrisburg DUI Lawyer Justin J McShane Esquire earns criminal law certification through NBTA

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By the National Board of Trial Advocacy

A Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Avvo.com. Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

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