I agree Price, the US embassy website information contradicts a lot of the advice on the CBP/ESTA website. Indeed, people who seek advice (for any query) from the embassy are always told to apply for a visa when in fact CBP will issue ESTA's in accordance with the guidelines you've quoted above. My travel has never been affected, nor have I lied.The wording changed on the ESTA form in November 2014, and you are no longer directly asked the 'Moral Turpitude' question.
What is now asked is:
So unless you were involved in a collision involving serious damage to (other) property or serious injury to some (other) person, you can answer 'No' to that section.
- Have you ever been arrested or convicted for a crime that resulted in serious damage to property, or serious harm to another person or government authority?
- Have you ever violated any law related to possessing, using or distributing illegal drugs?
- Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage or genocide?
- Have you ever committed fraud or misrepresented yourself or others to obtain, or assist others to obtain, a visa or entry into the United States?
It is still tighter if you have to apply for a Visa for some other reason, such as recent travel to countries on the 'concerned' list and you do then have to declare ANY arrests, but as it stands, straightforward drink driving cases do not seem to have an effect on the ESTA route.
There are several conflicting pieces of advice on the Embassy website and in the Immigration website, but reading the ESTA form word for word this is what the current situation is.
Whilst the questions no longer ask specifically about crimes of moral turpitude, the CBP website still cites CMT as grounds for refusal and uses their definition of CMT as a guideline for answering question 1, which has really just been rephrased. Maybe the phrase 'moral turpitude' caused too much consternation!!