DO NOT drive a rental car out of the country (woody's run-in with the "law" in TJ)

I’m glad that the sweeping reforms of the past century have finally eliminated corruption in the Tijuana police force. And while I’m at it, isn’t it great how the pope made that sudden switch to Islam?
OK, I’m going to skip the boring events leading up to it, but I was down in San Diego with a friend and we decided to go to Mexico. We had a rental car. We drive across the border, pull off at the first exit and make it about a block before a cop rides up alongside me and tells me to pull over. Why, I have no idea. Anyway, he tells me to step out of the car and open the trunk. He goes through my possessions, the pockets of my clothing, etc. Then, finding nothing important I guess, he asks for my license and registration. I give him my license and tell him it’s a rental car and I’ll have to look for the registration. I accidentally hand him my rental contract. He looks at it and asks me if I have Mexican insurance. No I do not. He tells me my contract is good only in the U.S. He then tells me I’m in serious trouble. He says this repeatedly. I struggle to keep the contents of my colon from making contact with my CK boxers. He tells me I will have to go to the station, probably stay in jail 'til I can go before the judge, and they’ll impound the car. He reaffirms what a grave matter this is.
I’m freaking out, but as I didn’t just fall off the mango truck yesterday I’m waiting for the issue of money to be raised. I don’t want to raise it, and let him bust me for bribing an officer, so I stand there sweating while he natters on about how much trouble I’m in. Finally, when he can see I’m visibly shaken, he tells me maybe he can talk to the judge and see if there are any other options. He gets on his radio and talks (or pretends to talk) to someone, then tells me he doesn’t want me to get into any trouble, maybe I can pay for my ticket and be on my way. How much? I ask. He gets back on the radio, then says, “Oh no, I think it’s too much money. You’d better come down to the station.” No, no, I protest, how much? He gives me a figure in the hundreds. Luckily my friend and I have enough between us to pay it.
I pay him, and he says, “I can’t give you a receipt.”
“Oh, no shit?” I reply. “That’s surprising.” And shortly after uttering this sentence, a troupe of mimes flies out of my ass doing cartwheels.
Of course, what I really said was “No problem. Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou.” He shakes my hand and we’re out of the country faster than a crack addict in a mormon temple.
Yeah yeah, I know I’m a stupid fool and all that for driving down in a rental car in the first place and not reading my contract, so please don’t post to tell me. Just think of this as a PSA for any travelers with similar plans.
On the bright side, at least he didn’t try to sell me Amway.

Damn. Well I can safely say we had more fun last night here in San Jose than you did! Glad you’re not currently stuck in a Tijuana prison.
Just don’t ask Jack about the caribou dicks. :wink:

I am sure that if you had not been breaking the law they would have convicted you anywais:)

A couple of hundred? I guess standards have risen since NAFTA or some such. The last (and only) time I bribed a Mexican border guard it was $0.25.

Well, what I took from that story is that you really need to work on your negotiation skills. Tell him you’ve only got twenty-five bucks, and ask him to call and see if he can get the “fine” reduced.


I think that’s a great system! Any country where you can buy your way out of going to jail like that is a great place. I wish you could do the same in the US. Unfortunately when the cops abuse you here, very especially if you are a foreigner, you have no recourse. A foreigner in the US would have been worse off. I’ll go for the Mexican system any time