All along this trip we've had the opportunity to
interact with law enforcement officers.
In Washington DC the window of our car got broken.
In Montgomery, AL we got a parking Ticket
In Tennessee Mia got a speeding ticket
In Texas we had to go through 3 different Border Patrols
In Mexico Mia went over the border, so had to go through immigration
In New Mexico Mia got pulled over for not wearing her seat belt
In Utah Mia got a speeding ticket
And one thing all these times had in common: Super nice officers!
Now for the stories:
Mia was taking stuff to the car to pack it back up for us to leave when she saw that our passenger side window had been broken. So we called the police to have someone come out and take a report. The lovely officer helped Mia through the process and advised us on what to do. Nothing was stolen and we got the window repaired the next day by a lovely repair man.
The blog about the window LINK
We actually had no interaction with the officer there... just came back to a parking ticket. Though Mia couldn't figure out why she got a ticket, we went ahead and paid it cause it was only $10 and not worth fighting over $10.
Mia got pulled over speeding. The last sign she'd noticed was 65 MPH, apparently she'd gone into a 40 MPH zone with out noticing! So we were doing 30 over the limit! YIKES! The officer was very nice and reduced the ticket for Mia. He could tell we weren't from around those parts, and he admitted the road was a little tricky and advise Mia as to the speed changes coming up.
To Mia's defense it was a tricky road: went from 60 to 40 to 55 to 50 to 40 to 65 .... and kept randomly changing like that for 20 miles or so.
Speeding ticket again... Mia needs to learn to slow down! This time the officer was nice again reduced the ticket down to the minimum ticket! How sweet, cause Mia deserved a way higher fine!
Now here's a crazy story! We just get into town & Mia has super hungry & thirsty. So she pulls over at a gas station runs in and buys a water and a cookie (you know healthy). Anyway, she jumps back into the car and had seen a Target just down the road so decides to go there. We're driving down the road, not even two blocks, and this officer whips up behind her with his lights on. Mia can't figure out why she's being pulled over! She's not speeding (this time!) and she knows none of her lights are burnt out (we'd just had them checked earlier that day with an oil change). So the officer walks up, and Mia asks "What'd I do?" (with licence and registration and insurance ready to go - she knows the drill). He says "Do you normally drive without your seat belt?" Mia hadn't even realized it wasn't on! She said "No, sorry. I just stopped so fast, and didn't realize." Now keep in mind Mia's blood sugar was very low, she'd been struggling to think straight already, and the stress from being pulled over got her adrenalin pumping so now Mia is shaking! The officer asked her about being from out of state, and of course Mia talks about my trip for about 2 seconds. The officer goes back to his car to run everything. While the officer is gone Mia realizes how much she's shaking and eats her cookie and drinks water. She also puts on her belt. So the officer comes back up to the car a few minutes later and just gives Mia a warning about her belt. He also takes one of my business cards and talks to us for several minutes about the trip. He also jokes about "You'd better be nice to me in the blog." LOL at the time I had no plans of blogging about being pulled over!
Well, when I told the story later that night to our NM hosts they said NM officers are very strict about pulling over out of state drivers. And the reason is because NM insurance is so expensive many people that move in from out of state keep their out of state tags longer than allowed by law.
So head's up to anyone visiting NM from out of state, obey EVERY traffic law!
Texas was the first state I ran into border patrol! I had no idea you pass border patrol miles and miles away from the border. I thought border patrol was ON THE BORDER! Nope turns out it's way north. We were heading out of Brownsville toward San Antonio when we hit the first one. The officer asked a few basic questions and let us go by very business like and orderly.
The next border patrol I passed was in West Texas. At this station the officer was super nice! She asked about me and wanted to pet me. She wanted to know all about my trip and even took a business card. We talked to her from over 5 minutes and I think she only let us go because there was a car behind us.
Our third Border Patrol was actually in NM. And again super far from the Border. I really don't get the point of the Border Patrols not being on the Border.
The other thing about Border Patrol that bothers me is the inconsistency of them. Down near Brownsville, super business like. West Texas super relaxed and didn't even ask if I was a citizen. In NM just asked if I was a citizen and waved me on. Then in CA I get the closest to Mexico I was yet and there were Zero Border Patrols. Why does CA have no Border Patrol Stations? If we have them shouldn't they be everywhere and consistent? Just some observations and wondering about that.
Of course we always hope we'll never have to interact with another officer since it just takes time away from other crimes they could be dealing with. But since we do get to interact with them we appreciate that so far we've had super positive experiences and appreciate all the men and women that are serving our communities all over the USA! Thank you for putting your lives on the line to keep us safe (even when it's safe from ourselves like with Mia's speeding).
And Mia NEEDS to slow down! She is very good about doing the speed limit most of the time. She was a horrible speed demon before the trip and has focused on slowing down to enjoy the views as she drives, obviously this needs to become a focus again for her.