I have a drink driving conviction. Does this prevent me from being able to travel to any countries?

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Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley

Whether your drink driving conviction will prevent you from travelling to other countries will depend on which country you are travelling to. Before making any travel arrangements overseas, you should check with the embassy or high commission of each country you wish to travel to whether there is a ban on entry of travellers with drink driving convictions. You can try searching for the embassy or high commission website on google, otherwise, if you wish to contact them directly, a full list of embassies is avaliable here: www.mfat.govt.nz

If you wish to travel to the USA or Australia, your drink driving conviction will not necessarily prevent you from doing so - helpful information is available here: www.cab.org.nz

If you have any unpaid fines or reparation owing to the New Zealand courts (for example, in relation to your drink driving conviction), you may be stopped from leaving New Zealand at the airport, even if the other country will let you in with your conviction. You can call 0800 4 FINES (0800 434 637) from 7am until 9pm on weekdays to check if you have any outstanding fines or reparation that would prevent you from leaving New Zealand.

Note also that even if your drink driving conviction is wiped under the "Clean Slate" scheme (the scheme that allows some convictions in New Zealand to be concealed in certain circumstances), you must disclose your criminal record when applying for a visa to enter another country. Read more about the clean slate scheme here: www.communitylaw.org.nz

Answered 21 Jun 2012. The IMPORTANT NOTICE below is part of this answer.

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