Spring break is one of the greatest perks of being a college student. What better time could there be to take a little trip to an exotic locale? Especially if you have not yet arrived at the glorious age of 21, you’re probably thinking: why not head on down to Mexico, where the beer flows like wine? I hope to successfully help all of you good-time seekers to relax and enjoy your trip without getting into any foreign legal trouble.
The biggest issue reported by U.S. travelers is difficulty with the Mexican police. There are several types of police-
* The Preventive Police
* The Transit Police
* The Federal Highway Police
* The Judicial Police
The first three all wear uniforms, but the last does not. U.S. travelers have frequently complained of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion by Mexican police. Hopefully, you will not come into contact with any type of police officer, but if a Mexican official approaches you for some reason, try to cooperate as best as you can. If the official demands that you pay (bribe) him or her, or if you feel you are being treated unfairly, demand that you are taken to the “delegacion” (police station). You are far more likely to receive proper legal treatment from the police station than some random officer on the street.
Activities to Avoid
* Don’t use the ATM. If you must, use it in the daytime.
* Be very careful when traveling by cab- you should only enter one that has been ordered by phone or by a reliable individual; taxi robbery is a common crime in Mexico, especially Mexico City.
* Be wary of bus transportation- only use buses in the daytime, and make sure to use first-class conveyances, they have a lower rate of crime than second and third-rate.
* Despite the behavior of American teenagers, public drunkenness is a crime in Mexico. Many border towns have become irritated by the rowdiness of we Spring Breakers who cross the border for some good-hearted fun in the sun. Make sure that you’re not being too obnoxious while intoxicated… it could land you behind bars.
* And, most importantly, avoid drug offenses! Mexico prosecutes a very high percentage of drug cases. Possession of and trafficking in illegal drugs are federal offenses. Carrying an illegal drug in an amount larger than what an individual could consume on his or her own is considered trafficking. The minimum sentence for possessing drugs in such an amount is 10 months in prison, and there is no bail. Additionally, Mexican law deals with all narcotics in the same manner (i.e. marijuana, heroin, amphetamines, etc. are treated the same). Bottom line, smoking a joint on the sidewalk is really not worth the risk; do so at your own peril.
3,000 Americans are arrested abroad per year
The U.S. gov’t. can do little to nothing to help if you are arrested in another country
Know the laws and regulations of the country you plan to visit before you go
Visit http://travel.state.gov for more information and travel tips.
|Crazy Laws in Other Countries:|
|Singapore: Gum- its consumption, sale, possession- is illegal in Singapore. Littering, smoking, drugs, and vandalism are harshly restricted as well--$1,000 fine for a first offense! In 1994 Michael Fay (USA) was convicted of vandalism—his punishment—four “love taps” with a moistened rattan cane, 4 months of jail time and a $2,000 fine.||
Thailand: It is considered a criminal offense to make negative comments about the King or other members of the royal family in Thailand. It is punishable by a prison sentence of three to 15 years.
Greece: All electronic games are banned.
Germany: It is illegal to wear a mask.
Italy: Striking someone with a fist is considered a felony.
Australia: It is illegal to walk on the right hand side of a footpath.
|Crazy Laws in Our Country:|
Texas: Up to a felony charge can be levied for promoting the use of, or owning more than six dildos.
Florida: If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.
California: Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship.
New York : Citizens may not greet each other by "putting one's thumb to the nose and wiggling the fingers".
Utah: It is illegal not to drink milk.