Cancun Breathalyzer: ‘Exhale Into My Cupped Hands, Please’

Goblet Cherry Dr Pepper Cancun

No wine for me…just sipping on a nice Cherry Dr Pepper to ring in the New Year 2017 in Cancun.

1/1/17. New Year’s Day. Of course the festivities lasted until the wee hours of the morning. Got together with some Russian expats living in Cancun in a well-kept, quiet neighborhood. The only “noise” is from fireworks a few blocks over and some music from neighboring houses.

A very peaceful way to welcome 2017 in good company, with good food, and great wine for those who drink. Me, I continue my sobriety and prefer to drink a nice Cherry Dr Pepper, which to my amazement is sold in Cancun.

Nowhere else in Mexico have I seen Dr Pepper, but Cancun is its own place, part of Mexico but apart from Mexico, and the high amount of American and European expats surely influences what products the stores sell here.

That’s what amazes me about Cancun…this town does things its own way, remaining distinctly Mexican but distinguishing itself from Mexico.

Drove the family home at about 4:30 a.m., and experienced my first Cancun “alcoholímetro” — a DUI checkpoint where the cops stopped all drivers and checked whether they consumed alcohol.

On my stop, on south Kabah Avenue, the cop asks me through my rolled down window, “Did you drink tonight?”

“No, I don’t drink.”


He pauses for a second.

Mimoza Russian Salad Cancun

By the way, our Cancun New Year’s dinner included Mimoza, a famous Russian salad. And turkey, of course.

Then he cups his hands and moves them over my door’s window, placing them about 15 inches away from my mouth.

“Exhale into my hands, please.”

I contain a chortle, and silently go “HAW” into the cop’s cupped hands. No way he’s going to smell it.

But he does.

And confirms my soberness.

And he waves me forward.

And we drive on, laughing all through Kabah Avenue about how Cancun does do its own thing its own way.

Later in the day, I started to feel bad for the poor cop. Not only did he have to work on a holiday, but I rued the many digested New Year dinners he had to smell.

And my neighbor just joked about the possibility of somebody puking on the cupped hand breathalyzer.

But all of this makes me reflect and put all joking aside…thank goodness that at least this makeshift breathalyzer exists to ensure sober driving takes place.

We must do our part to be safe, alert and sober on the road, for our good and the good of all our fellow drivers and passengers.

Yeah, I know this sounds preachy. Don’t care. Stay sober, my friends.


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