Which Countries Have the Toughest DUI Penalties in the World?

Which Countries Have the Toughest DUI Penalties in the World?

You may think that there are some harsh DUI penalties in the United States, but you could not be more wrong. The DUI penalties in America are lenient compared to some of the sentences handed out in other countries. Here is our list of some of the toughest DUI penalties from around the world


Poland has had a long history of traffic accidents on icy country roads, and so it has little tolerance for drink-driving offenses. For a first offense, drivers will have their driving license revoked for three years. They can also be fined an amount worth approximately $1700, and have to attend a series of awareness classes and complete a drink-driving awareness test.

South Africa

DUI penalties are very harsh in this country. For a first offense, you may face up to 10 years of jail time, or given a fine worth close to $10,000, or both. This makes South African penalties for driving under the influence amongst the harshest in the world.


This is another country that takes DUI offenses very seriously. Fines and penalties vary a little between states, but all offenders have their personal details and details of the offense published in local and national newspapers. This has led to many offenders losing their jobs or becoming ostracized in their communities.


Turkish authorities have a very low tolerance for DUI offenders and a uniquely Turkish way of punishing offenders. In addition to fines and driving penalties, Turkish police officers are known to drive offenders into the desert, away from civilization, and make them walk back to their homes. They escort them there to ensure they receive no assistance and that passersby know of their offense.


Drivers in Bulgaria need to be very careful if they decide to drink alcohol and then go for a drive. Your first offense will give you a lot of fines and driving penalties. For your second offense, you will be given the death penalty. This is no joke; for a second DUI, you will be put on Bulgaria’s death row. This helps to explain why there are few DUI related prosecutions in Bulgaria, per capita.


The French have the typical driving penalties and fines that you would expect to find in most western and European nations. What sets them apart is that they may choose to impound your vehicle, even on your first offense, and sell it at auction to raise funds. This helps to keep DUI instances low in France, despite their love of fine wines and brandy!


The Malaysian government does not tolerate drink driving and takes an interesting approach to deter drivers from getting behind the wheel after a drink. In Malaysia, your spouse can be prosecuted for your DUI as well as yourself! Even if they had no knowledge or influence over your driving, they can still be prosecuted to the same extent as you. Many DUI offenders find themselves needing two lawyers, one for the DUI and another to handle their divorce!

The death penalty is an extreme and rare penalty for a DUI. Some people believe that the United States of America could benefit from some similar policies for drunk driving that other countries use. France and Australia use some public humiliation to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the roads, and this kind of punishment could be coming to roads near you!