My Brush With the Mexican Police

OK, so technically this was my second brush with the Mexican police. The first occurred back in 2004, when a group of police officers pulled Brendan and me over in Oxcutzcab, a Mayan town in the middle of the Yucatan peninsula, and asked if we were lost (we were). So, they provided us a special police escort to the highway we were trying to  find, and honked their horn and waved at us on our way out of town. It’s a memory we still speak of fondly. “Remember the police escort?” “Yeah.” “That was awesome.” “Yeah.”

Well for my second go-round: prepare yourself. I know you’ve heard plenty about the Mexican police and their bribes and brutality.

This time, it was while we were driving down the road to our fabulous little hotel near Puerto Morelos, Mexico, on the Caribbean Coast. We had hot tacos and cold beer in the backseat, which we were bringing back for my sister-in-law and her bf. We had no time to lose! Soggy tacos = a little less delicious than not-soggy tacos.

But then we saw the flashing lights of a tiny police moped, so we pulled over.

And yes.

I got a speeding ticket.


Red-hot speedracer Joy shows off her speeding ticket, which she waited to do until after she had gone snorkeling, showered and had a drink in hand.

I was doing 60 kilometers per hour in a 40 km zone (in miles: a heart-stopping 37 miles per hour in a 24 mph zone!). Was that marked anywhere along the road? Claro que no! Officer Israel Something-Something took my driver’s license, wrote me a ticket, and said to go to the transit police office on Monday to pay the fine and get my license back. (Here in Mexico, especially with tourists, the police need collateral to make sure they get their fines paid). Problem was, we were leaving the next day, a Sunday.

So, instead of spending the last hours of my vacation at the police headquarters, begging to get my license back, I went snorkeling. My license will remain in Puerto Morelos (hopefully), and I’ll order a new one. Thank god they haven’t started taking passports, or then it really would have ruined my trip.

8 thoughts on “My Brush With the Mexican Police

  1. angelbc says:

    Hehe. I got a speeding ticket on the highway to Guadalajara a few years ago. (Doing 160 on a 120 zone) They also got my license and I had to go to the actual highway patrol HQ in Mexico City to get it back a few days later. The funny thing is that if you pay the fine in the first 7-10 days you get a discount. The short version is the ticket was about 750 MXP or something and I ended up paying about 100 once all the discounts were made. I never understood why but I wasn’t complaining.

  2. Monica says:

    he he, a policeman stopped me to ask if I had the permit to drive on that certain day and imagine i made him disappear telling him I know he saw a woman driving in a foreign plated car and I know he would try to intimidate me. he then accused me I was trying to intimidate him and then, I don’t know how, he disappeared:) I just think he realised I wouldn’t bribe him or, even if i wasn’t shouting, he got scared of my radio voice:0

  3. Betty Victory says:

    OMG, I am glad it finally turned out alright. I hope you don’t have any more “brushes” with the law there!

  4. Tulum says:

    I can’t believe he didn’t ask you for a bribe. For the cops in Cancun that’s the first thing on their agenda, then if you don’t oblige they’ll either just let you know or once in a while give you a ticket!

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