Holiday rush at Mexico City’s hangover prison

By Joshua Partlow, December 26, 2013

MEXICO CITY — On the way home from a pre-Christmas fiesta, Mauricio Rodriguez, after “two tequilas,” felt clear-headed and focused, “not dizzy or anything.”

So when the IT help desk employee failed one of Mexico City’s feared alcoholímetros — those pervasive breath tests at holiday checkpoints — he knew he would be saying goodbye for a while. No ticket. No warning. “Come get my wife,” he told his father by phone before being whisked off in a squad car. “They’re taking me away.”

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