(The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.)

An underage motorcyclist out for a Sunday evening cruise around town with the hordes of other showoffs drove into the side of my host mother’s car. By the time I arrived at the scene, which was just in front of the house, one of the cops was sharing a cool drink of tereré with two of the ‘20-something’ daughters of the family and their friends, and another was yelling at a fellow helmet-less rider for drinking caña, sugarcane based moonshine, while driving. The officer grabbed the plastic bottle, emptied it, threw it on the ground and the rider rolled away in neutral. His ‘level’ of intoxication was unquestioned, as was his lack of helmet. Almost no one wears one.

The kid who hit the car had been joined by his brother and girlfriend to ride the moto home and deal with the situation instead of his mother, who wasn't called due to her high blood pressure. The trio departed independently soon after.

“He’s going to get a fine, right?” I asked one of the daughters. 

“Yes,” she nodded. 

But we’ll see. Most misdemeanors, or crimes in general, seem to get brushed aside. Whether it be for lack of funding or avoidance of a social stigma, I don’t know. But I won’t be surprised if this incident fizzles away with time like the “unenforced” helmet law.

(The teen driver watches his brother's girlfriend rolls the bike off the property, as she passes his crash-damage)