BajaNomad

My Son Texted Me from the Tecate Police Station!

David K - 8-20-2019 at 02:31 PM

Yesterday, while returning home from a nice weekend in Ensenada with his wife and her parents (from Mexicali), my son was following others through Tecate for the borderline and did a Baja California rolling stop at that traffic circle-like junction with the trees. He stopped as much as others but they picked him to pull over.

The officer tried to scare them by saying it was a 4000 peso fine (US$214) as this was next to a fire station. Chris' wife (Lyz, born in Mexicali) spoke with the cop and basically said they will go to the police station to deal with it (I told Chris before that traffic fines are low in Mexico and never let a cop scare you with high fine talk). If you didn't break the law, then insist on going to the police station! You will be on your way, soon enough.

At the police station, the fine ended up being $318.16 (Pesos) or US $17.00. To the great relief as for a moment, he thought it was 318 dollars (more than they had).

The Tecate line was so long (Sunday ~6 pm), they drove on to Mexicali to cross the border!

In the end, it was a good story incident, worth the seventeen dollars! Chris said I could share it with you all!



The ticket was even discounted! :light::cool:

[Edited on 8-23-2019 by David K]

ncampion - 8-20-2019 at 02:54 PM

Ah ha, the famous Tecate stop sign ticket. I'm surprised they even got all the way to the station but good for them, paying the street bribe just continues the practice.

del mar - 8-20-2019 at 02:57 PM

some lady on fb swears up and down it was a 19 hour wait! on a positive note the baja beach fest was a huge success:P

ehall - 8-20-2019 at 03:04 PM

I saw the 19 hr wait post. Haha

Glad he stood his ground and went to the station.

David K - 8-20-2019 at 03:18 PM

The Tecate border closes at 11 pm. A lot of people slept in their cars if they didn't go to one of the other 5 crossings into California.

Yes, I am proud of him for not panicking. He has crossed the border many times with me as he was growing up and now driving his own cars south.

lencho - 8-20-2019 at 03:46 PM

Quote: Originally posted by David K  
Chris' wife (Lyz, born in Mexicali) spoke with the cop and basically said they will go to the police station
So did the cop accompany them to the station?

chippy - 8-20-2019 at 04:04 PM

Well played! You´ve taught him well.

defrag4 - 8-20-2019 at 04:30 PM

well done!

thebajarunner - 8-20-2019 at 04:36 PM

Great story, and good show all around

I remember many years ago getting taken to the station in Rosarito Beach.
Sunday morning, absolutely no traffic
But I was guilty of the mortal sin "DAP"
also known as driving a Porsche.

So cop takes us into the lobby, and there is a little old gray hair man mopping the floor, bucket right in front of the counter.

He puts mop in bucket, goes behind the counter, puts on a cop jacket, pulls on his official hat that says "Capitan" and writes me out a barely legible receipt for my ten bucks. Got my middle name in front but left off the first, so I knew I would not be seeing it on my CA record.

Well worth the ten bucks to have the memory and the story to tell.

Mulege Canuck - 8-20-2019 at 04:53 PM

Thanks for that David. It is good to have that first hand report.

Only mordida I have had to pay was for cutting back the brush and one small tree on the way into Tembabichi.

bajabuddha - 8-20-2019 at 04:56 PM

Quote:
Quote: Originally posted by thebajarunner  

"...so I knew I would not be seeing it on my CA record."


So in other words, what happens in Mexico STAYS in Mexico.

Back in the early 00's (or late '90s probably) when I was living in four corners region, there was a Navajo drunk that mid-afternoon killed a family of 4 in Cortez, CO while DWI. The guy had received FOURTEEN DWI TICKETS on the Navajo Res (CO. residency license) and not one citation had been sent to the Colorado MVD from the Res police. they don't exchange information.

Never lost his license, until then. Such is life. :smug:

David K - 8-20-2019 at 05:31 PM

Quote: Originally posted by lencho  
Quote: Originally posted by David K  
Chris' wife (Lyz, born in Mexicali) spoke with the cop and basically said they will go to the police station
So did the cop accompany them to the station?


I asked and just now and he said 'yes, was escorted' (and held onto his license during that time)... This is typical in Mexico.

Not sure what you are insinuating

thebajarunner - 8-20-2019 at 06:22 PM

Quote:
Quote: Originally posted by bajabuddha  
Quote: Originally posted by thebajarunner  

"...so I knew I would not be seeing it on my CA record."


So in other words, what happens in Mexico STAYS in Mexico.

Back in the early 00's (or late '90s probably) when I was living in four corners region, there was a Navajo drunk that mid-afternoon killed a family of 4 in Cortez, CO while DWI. The guy had received FOURTEEN DWI TICKETS on the Navajo Res (CO. residency license) and not one citation had been sent to the Colorado MVD from the Res police. they don't exchange information.

Never lost his license, until then. Such is life. :smug:


Are you suggesting that I should happily accept a bogus ticket and have it on my CA record? Not when my insurance "good driver" discount is 30%
My last US ticket was 30 years ago outside of Surprise AZ and it was almost as bogus as a Baja ticket. "Driving with CA plates" was my main infraction.
I have been cop-stopped in Guatemala City, Antigua, D.F., Rosarito Beach (twice) La Gloria.... the list goes on and on.
Paid a couple and my very feisty Jalisco born bride has talked us out of a couple
And yes, what happens in Baja stays in Baja when it comes to my driving record

Lee - 8-20-2019 at 06:44 PM

Asking to pay a fine at the police station should be a bluff and not something you want to do. It can be worse at the station and I remember one story at Tecate with an old guy who had a pocket knife in his truck. It was posted here years ago.

Also have a story about the Ciudad police station where a friend was scammed more than he would have paid on the street.

I would never go to a MX police station. If I'm wrong, I"ll negotiate the ticket on the street. If it's a scam, I'll negotiate that too.

I tell people don't go to the police station.

JZ - 8-20-2019 at 07:01 PM

Agree with Lee's approach. Plus, I don't want waste a bunch of time.

Negotiate that down to $30-40 and be done with it. Going to the police station should be a last resort.

Pacifico - 8-20-2019 at 07:13 PM

Quote: Originally posted by JZ  
Agree with Lee's approach. Plus, I don't want waste a bunch of time.

Negotiate that down to $30-40 and be done with it. Going to the police station should be a last resort.


x2

What's your time worth while having fun in Baja? I'll happily spend $40 to save 2-3 hours time wasted on a trip to the policia station!


Don Pisto - 8-20-2019 at 07:35 PM

I'd sure hate to have that nice policeman throw that bag that he "found" under your seat on the capitan's desk!

bajabuddha - 8-20-2019 at 08:13 PM

Quote:
Quote: Originally posted by thebajarunner  
Quote: Originally posted by bajabuddha  
Quote: Originally posted by thebajarunner  

"...so I knew I would not be seeing it on my CA record."


So in other words, what happens in Mexico STAYS in Mexico.

Back in the early 00's (or late '90s probably) when I was living in four corners region, there was a Navajo drunk that mid-afternoon killed a family of 4 in Cortez, CO while DWI. The guy had received FOURTEEN DWI TICKETS on the Navajo Res (CO. residency license) and not one citation had been sent to the Colorado MVD from the Res police. they don't exchange information.

Never lost his license, until then. Such is life. :smug:


Are you suggesting that I should happily accept a bogus ticket and have it on my CA record? Not when my insurance "good driver" discount is 30%
My last US ticket was 30 years ago outside of Surprise AZ and it was almost as bogus as a Baja ticket. "Driving with CA plates" was my main infraction.
I have been cop-stopped in Guatemala City, Antigua, D.F., Rosarito Beach (twice) La Gloria.... the list goes on and on.
Paid a couple and my very feisty Jalisco born bride has talked us out of a couple
And yes, what happens in Baja stays in Baja when it comes to my driving record


I'm not 'insinuating' anything, dude. My point was your Mexican ticket I doubt highly would be tagged to your KKKalifornia record. Sorry if your paranoia took over.

Just posting a story about how a ticket in a foreign country (like the Navajo Nations) doesn't make it to the U.S. or State records. Take a chill pill, Phil.

WestyWanderer - 8-20-2019 at 08:18 PM

I had almost the same experience at that intersection. However the cop let us get along the border fence before he pulled us over. He claimed we did not stop all the way, which we did, even let a pedestrian cross in front of us! Long story short I was able to talk my way out of it and he let us go. Watch out at that intersection, its a favorite for Tecate cops!

Lee - 8-20-2019 at 08:58 PM

Quote: Originally posted by WestyWanderer  
I had almost the same experience at that intersection. However the cop let us get along the border fence before he pulled us over. He claimed we did not stop all the way, which we did, even let a pedestrian cross in front of us! Long story short I was able to talk my way out of it and he let us go. Watch out at that intersection, its a favorite for Tecate cops!


That's a famous or infamous intersection.

I stopped for that light to make a right turn. Thought of turning on the red, like California, but then thought no.

Looked over diagonally at the intersection and saw a motorcycle cop watching me. I waved and he waved back. Went right on the green light thinking he'd pull me over but he didn't.

It's probably a toss of the die re station vs. street.

If I remember the story about the old guy with pocket knife (never admit to having a knife or weapon) at the Tecate police station, police threatened to confiscate his truck. (His wife was waiting for him in the truck.) Don't recall the fine but it was mucho dinero.

Don Jorge - 8-21-2019 at 05:51 AM

Sounds like they did the right the thing at the right moment. You play these moments by ear.

To those who say they would never go to the police station, maybe it is because you have never been married to or traveled with a Mexican woman who thinks the cops are trying to rip money away from her family or her?

In those moments one best step back and enjoys the rip your wife/girlfriend puts on the crooked cop.

[Edited on 8-21-2019 by Don Jorge]

bajatrailrider - 8-21-2019 at 11:27 AM

Im very surprised the cops went to cop shop. As when they ask for money. They have always en route ditched the car going to cop shop. As they don't want you telling so that means that station is crooked too.

David K - 8-21-2019 at 01:31 PM

What happened to Christopher is exactly what I would expect to have happened...

1) Rolled through a stop sign along with others but was the lucky one with U.S. plates to be stopped :rolleyes:

2) Cop tries to scare them with a high estimated ticket price (4000 pesos/ over 200 dollars). Maybe he hopes they will plead for lower fine or hope the cop offers a solution to pay the fine for them?

3) Knowing fines are much lower in Mexico, they insist on seeing the judge/ going to the station.

4) The fine was only = 17 dollars.

Knowledge is king!

It worked out well and they now have a fun story to tell the rest of their lives.

JZ - 8-21-2019 at 01:43 PM

Think going the police station is a very bad idea. Use it as a bluff and negotiation tactic.

Your time is worth way more than doing a run to the police station to save a few pesos. Plus you might have 1-4 more ppl with you?

Who knows what happens at the police station. And how much does the stress on everyone cost?

I'm going to disagree that this was a good way to handle this situation, and I'll coach my kids differently.

Yeah, sure if it's just me and a cop is hassling me and I have no where to be, yes, I might go to the station.

In my hundreds of trips to MX, only once did I get shaken down remotely close to that bad, and it was in Tecate for drinking a beer in car while driving.


[Edited on 8-21-2019 by JZ]

Lee - 8-21-2019 at 03:07 PM

It's difficult negotiating a fine on the street, or at the station, if you're guilty. What would have happened if the fine had been $214 US at the station?

I posted what happened to a friend in Ciudad when he went to the station.

I just believe, for me, I have a better chance for a good outcome on the street, not possibly outnumbered at a police station. It's probably a toss of the die that a gringo would get ''justice'' at a station.

From the 2 stories I've read, the old man at the Tecate station, and my friend in Ciudad, things didn't go well for these 2 people.

DK writes ''knowledge is king.'' Yes and no. Unfortunately, for the son in this situation, and with DK's knowledge, the assumption upon getting stopped is that going to the police station will get you justice, a fair shake, a low and reasonable fine.

I don't assume that at all. My assumption, and I've never been to a MX police station, is I've given up some leverage by being on police turf. Cops around means I'm outnumbered. Because I don't trust the whole situation anyway, there's no reason to believe I'll get justice anywhere in MX, especially at the hands of the police.

When knowledge becomes a belief system, especially in MX, a tourist is setting themselves up for a fall.

DK: I think it is important to post factual history rather than the fantasy of some possible future event.

Starting to sound a little pompous there, Dave.

del mar - 8-21-2019 at 03:58 PM

Quote: Originally posted by David K  
As I said to JZ, you are free to post your own observations or fears in your own posts. This is my post about what actually did happen... not what could have happened.

Let the people decide based on facts. If you have personal opinions, then great... we all do. Sometimes they are based on fact and sometimes it is just a gut feeling or maybe just a need for drama?

Have a nice day! :biggrin:


:lol: "if knowledge is king" maybe you should have taught the boy not to roll through stop signs IN TECATE. station vs pay on the street is a personal preference, I like the street choice!:yes:

David K - 8-21-2019 at 04:03 PM

Oh, he is 30 years old, so it's on him how he drives now. He actually didn't see the sign (later said it was really hard to spot, maybe intentionally?) and was just repeating what the other cars were doing at that junction (didn't I state that already?).

Three2tango - 8-21-2019 at 04:18 PM

Good for him. I liked defrag4's advice also in another thread. Don't pay a bribe it just makes it harder for the next dude.

sancho - 8-21-2019 at 04:30 PM

Quote: Originally posted by Lee  

I stopped for that light to make a right turn. Thought of turning on the red, like California, but then thought no.













Is turning on a red in Mex legal? Not that they wouldn't try
for mordida anyway. Maybe the same story, a guy paid in
the $300 dll. range for the pocketknife in Tecate, I suppose
claiming a concealed weapon

JZ - 8-21-2019 at 04:30 PM

Quote: Originally posted by David K  
As I said to JZ, you are free to post your own observations or fears in your own posts. This is my post about what actually did happen... not what could have happened.

Let the people decide based on facts. If you have personal opinions, then great... we all do. Sometimes they are based on fact and sometimes it is just a gut feeling or maybe just a need for drama?

Have a nice day! :biggrin:



Bud, I'm not giving you some hypothetical opinion.

I've been stopped 10-20 times in the last 5 years. Not the last 20 years.

If you told your kid to go to the police station, I'm gonna say that is bad advice. And feel very confident about that.

You started this thread and you had to expect comments and opinions.

For as often as you go to Baja, I'm pretty surprised why there aren't more story's of you traveling with your boy? Seems like a flurry in the last 10 days. I could post 1,000 pics of my boys down in Baja over the last 3-4 years.





Alm - 8-21-2019 at 04:31 PM

Quote: Originally posted by David K  

3) Knowing fines are much lower in Mexico, they insist on seeing the judge/ going to the station.

4) The fine was only = 17 dollars.

Knowledge is king!

We ALL know that fines in Mx are cheap, there isn't much practical use of this. Knowledge means little when law becomes a belief (well put here), and - subject to individual interpretation. Some people leave Mx police station with a better outcome, some - with no change, some - with worse. And there is always more time lost and more stress when going to the station. Street fine is usually (almost always) a subject to negotiation.

JZ - 8-21-2019 at 07:59 PM

I was on Amigos, and that other board ran by that guy named Blackie.

Don't plan to stop going to Baja with my kids when they get older. Seems like you just reconnected with yours at his wedding.



[Edited on 8-22-2019 by JZ]

AKgringo - 8-21-2019 at 08:37 PM

Good plan JZ, I hope it works out for you! You do realize that it won't be too many more years before your kids will have plans, and commitments of their own, and hopefully you will play an important part.

I have been trying to put together a family Baja adventure for a couple of years, but nothing has worked out yet. The extra 4000 miles or so from Anchorage complicates things a bit, but it is mainly conflicting schedules.

JZ - 8-21-2019 at 09:28 PM

Quote: Originally posted by AKgringo  
Good plan JZ, I hope it works out for you! You do realize that it won't be too many more years before your kids will have plans, and commitments of their own, and hopefully you will play an important part.

I have been trying to put together a family Baja adventure for a couple of years, but nothing has worked out yet. The extra 4000 miles or so from Anchorage complicates things a bit, but it is mainly conflicting schedules.


I get you. And can understand Anchorage. In this case the wife is from Mexicali. Not a mention I can recall in 10 years.



Jack Swords - 8-22-2019 at 07:37 AM

Strange, once again, how this thread has evolved. Back to the original topic: One has a choice of how to deal with Mexican police. Depending upon circumstances one may chose one or the other. In over 50 years driving in Baja and mainland Mexico I have both paid on the street and gone to the police station. Paying on the street (negotiated amount) is an expedient necessitated by many things. Going to the station is always an adventure usually ending up with a very minor fine and jokes and hand shaking all around. I have "visited" the police station in several communities from Veracruz to La Paz and always treated well.

thebajarunner - 8-22-2019 at 08:09 AM

Quote: Originally posted by Jack Swords  
Strange, once again, how this thread has evolved. Back to the original topic: One has a choice of how to deal with Mexican police. Depending upon circumstances one may chose one or the other. In over 50 years driving in Baja and mainland Mexico I have both paid on the street and gone to the police station. Paying on the street (negotiated amount) is an expedient necessitated by many things. Going to the station is always an adventure usually ending up with a very minor fine and jokes and hand shaking all around. I have "visited" the police station in several communities from Veracruz to La Paz and always treated well.


Good words Jack, and yes, back to the topic
I too have done both,
First I sic my little Jalisco born bride on the cop, that usually works
Next, we hem and haw around and see if there is a reasonable number out there between us
And, if not in a hurry then the station is always just part of the adventure.
I daresay, if you are a real Baja aficionado and have never "visited the station" you are missing a real part of the experience

and, nice to see you on board this morning Jack...

AKgringo - 8-22-2019 at 08:09 AM

Sorry, I will assess myself five demerits for my part in the mini hijack!

Back on topic, the second time I was pulled over for a shakedown in La Paz, I declined the offer to "pay right now, no ticket". Using my marginal Spanish, I politely told him no mordida, give me a ticket, or let me go. He let me go!

For what it is worth, I was guilty of not having my seat belt fastened.

BajaTed - 8-22-2019 at 08:37 AM

Kinda related question

Does the Sindictura's (public corruption agents) exist anymore???

Tioloco - 8-22-2019 at 09:16 AM

I have had quite a number of experiences through the years with the Mexican police. Most "visits" to the police station were relatively positive with a minimal financial impact. One instance however, taught me to be very leery of going to the station. Much better in my opinion now to settle it as quickly as possible on the side of the road. When things go south, you cant hit the rewind button.

JZ - 8-22-2019 at 09:21 AM

Quote: Originally posted by Tioloco  
I have had quite a number of experiences through the years with the Mexican police. Most "visits" to the police station were relatively positive with a minimal financial impact. One instance however, taught me to be very leery of going to the station. Much better in my opinion now to settle it as quickly as possible on the side of the road. When things go south, you cant hit the rewind button.


Thanks for sharing this.

Tioloco - 8-22-2019 at 09:26 AM

The Mexican Justice System is akin to a weight loss program.
Results are not guaranteed.

Jack Swords - 8-22-2019 at 12:31 PM

La Paz police had a slick tactic after giving you a ticket. Taking your driver's license for you to reclaim at the station means you need to go there to get it back. Parking tickets usually included removal of your license plates, requiring a trip to the station to get them back (and pay a fine). Word was that your dog needed to be leashed when traveling in the car (we told ours to duck down) Always an adventure!

Lee - 8-22-2019 at 01:01 PM

Quote: Originally posted by JZ  
Quote: Originally posted by Tioloco  
I have had quite a number of experiences through the years with the Mexican police. Most "visits" to the police station were relatively positive with a minimal financial impact. One instance however, taught me to be very leery of going to the station. Much better in my opinion now to settle it as quickly as possible on the side of the road. When things go south, you cant hit the rewind button.


Thanks for sharing this.


This is my point.

Writing ''If you didn't break the law, then insist on going to the police station! You will be on your way, soon enough,'' is wrong.

Maybe things will go well, and maybe you'll be on your way, soon enough.

And then again, maybe things won't go well, and you've just gotten deeper into shlt.

What's also bullshlt is writing don't pay on the street, you're only making it harder for the next dude.

We all do what we're comfortable with in Baja. Just don't write bullshlt, call it ''fact,'' and therefore, the truth. Fact might be based on personal experience, and what you've concluded is true, but that doesn't mean it's true for everyone.

If you haven't spent a lot of time in Baja, like, in one place for extended periods, not a 2 week vacation traveling taking in the sites, you don't know the underbelly of Baja.


KurtG - 8-22-2019 at 01:10 PM

JZ said:
[rquote=[/rquote]
Bud, I'm not giving you some hypothetical opinion.
I've been stopped 10-20 times in the last 5 years.
[/rquote]


10-20 times in 5 years! I'm having trouble imagining what driving style would result in that many.

In 45 years of Baja travel, often at "brisk" speeds I have only gotten one ticket. That was in Cabo San Lucas about 25 years ago for not wearing a helmet while riding downtown. Followed the two officers to the station and paid a $7.00 fine then got picture with one of the cops holding his shotgun while I held up my ticket. Worth the money.

lencho - 8-22-2019 at 04:38 PM

Quote: Originally posted by JZ  
I rarely drive. It's always my MX captain or deck hands that get pulled over.
Thanks for your non-reactive reply. The civility on the forum for the last week or so has been really refreshing; surprising how much one single individual was able to poison the mood of the whole place.

Call this a plea to everyone to see if-- now with the cancer extirpated-- we can exert a little effort to keep our egos in check and maintain the civil interchange. :light:

Howard - 8-22-2019 at 05:39 PM

Drove northbound thru Tecate around 11:30 this morning and no problems. FYI, short line but it did take 1/2 hour as they were really taking their time with the cars. I was lucky, was at the kiosk maybe 30 seconds.
No churro's for sale, bummer!

[Edited on 8-23-2019 by Howard]

Lee - 8-22-2019 at 08:11 PM

Quote: Originally posted by David K  

... (I told Chris before that traffic fines are low in Mexico and never let a cop scare you with high fine talk). If you didn't break the law, then insist on going to the police station! You will be on your way, soon enough.


Not saying going to a station is wrong for anyone. I'm saying what YOU said is wrong. In your experience fines are lower at the police station. It's not lower for everyone. There's no norm.

Saying someone will ''be on your way, soon enough'' is plain wrong. You don't know that. You're guessing that'll be the case, and making assumptions.

Doesn't matter how many cops you know David. You vacation in Baja and are a tourist and don't know what I'm writing about.

I'm betting buddhaman and chuckie know.

In the end, I don't care what you or your law breaking son do.

Peace Bro.

paranewbi - 8-23-2019 at 03:34 AM

Quote: Originally posted by lencho  
Quote: Originally posted by JZ  
I rarely drive. It's always my MX captain or deck hands that get pulled over.
Thanks for your non-reactive reply. The civility on the forum for the last week or so has been really refreshing; surprising how much one single individual was able to poison the mood of the whole place.

Call this a plea to everyone to see if-- now with the cancer extirpated-- we can exert a little effort to keep our egos in check and maintain the civil interchange. :light:


It's like walking the dog in the dog park...
Some dogs do fine off-leash
Others need to always be on a leash
Still, others need to be muzzled

You just never know what a dog will do.

Now Goats...you always know what they will do; So never turn your back on one!

[Edited on 8-23-2019 by paranewbi]

mtgoat666 - 8-23-2019 at 06:22 AM

I think anyone who bribes a Mexican cop is committing a felony under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, aren’t they?

Jack Swords - 8-23-2019 at 07:47 AM

In no way a "bribe", simply a courteous cop paying the fine for me. For that I am grateful and can be on my way.

Courtesy and Convenience

MrBillM - 8-23-2019 at 08:40 AM

THAT has always been my understanding over the years whenever I asked the officer if such was possible and I never saw evidence that such was not the case.


bajatrailrider - 8-23-2019 at 08:45 AM

Quote: Originally posted by mtgoat666  
I think anyone who bribes a Mexican cop is committing a felony under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, aren’t they?
. Any more stupid posts from tourest that has. No knowledge of Mexico.

Bajazly - 8-23-2019 at 10:37 AM

Quote: Originally posted by Jack Swords  
In no way a "bribe", simply a courteous cop paying the fine for me. For that I am grateful and can be on my way.


I like think of the one time I got popped for a pocket knife in a random stop on the street “checking for drugs” by 6 cops as a donation to the secret policeman’s other ball.

The knife was expensive, I had it forever and it was worth $30 and the chance to mess with them a bit. The woman cop searched my other pocket and just left her hand in my pocket for a loooong time while talking to me, I asked her in English if a handy came with this stop. She just scowled and removed her hand.