[Breaking these Tobago laws could get you arrested abroad]
Getting arrested abroad is no laughing matter.
 
A good rule of thumb before you head to any country (Tobago included) is “Know Before You Go”.
[Ask yourself: Can I get arrested abroad for this?]

True Story

A couple years back, I took my friend (an attorney in New York) to court with me.
 
It was the week after Carnival.
 
In fact, it was the Monday after the Dwight Yorke Cool Down fete.
 
Th fete usually attracts many non-Tobagonians to the island.
 
It is a premium party and everyone wants an excuse to come to Tobago after Carnival.
 
Turns out not everyone had fun…
 
Except…
 
My client.
 
He was an international bloke arrested at the party.
 
As my friend and I sat in court waiting for the matter to be called, she asked me what type of case it was.
 
If only I could have picked her jaw off the floor when I told her.
 
She was completely taken aback when I told her that it was illegal to …
 
Never mind, you can read about it below.
 
In order of shock value, here are the 8 Tobago (and Trinidad) laws that could get you arrested abroad:

5. Indecent Exposure

[Two months imprisonment. Law source: here] 
Tobago is HOT!
 
Its average daily temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
 
It makes sense that we would wear as little clothes as possible.
 
No, my friend.
 
This is not the case.
 
While it’s okay for men to walk around shirtless (sorry ladies).
 
Many establishments will not tolerate you shopping bare-backed.
 
So keep your clothes on with these cute options.
 
For mih ladies, this island inspired cover up is flirty and keeps the right bits under wraps (not sorry for the pun).
 
And for you guys?
 
This clichéd vest is for you.
 
Bright colours.
 
Sunset.
 
Coconut trees.
 
That should cover it all (not sorry for this pun either).

 

4. Drunk & Disorderly Conduct In Public

[Two months imprisonment. Law source: here]
One of the best parts of a Caribbean vacation is the drinks!
 
Many tourists relish the opportunity to sit back with a rum packed fruity drink or ten.
 
But…
 
Are saddened to hear that they could be subject to jail time if their drinking gets out of hand.
 
You should also know;
 
Public drunkenness could get you a night in the slammer.
 
Though, you’ll only incur a fine, not imprisonment (S.52 (1) of the same act).
 
Moderation is the key here and as always: DRINK RESPONSIBLY.
If the thought of being arrested in Tobago doesn’t help tame your drinking, try this.
The Official DevonneAdanna.Com Dos & Don’ts For Avoiding Getting Arrested Abroad For Drunk & Disorderly Conduct.
[I know what you’re thinking: This title could have been a wee bit longer.]

DO

  1. Drink at home: Liquor is cheap on the island and you can do all your drinking BEFORE you go out.
  2. Get a designated driver.
  3. Drink water. Lots of it. Before, between, and after every drink.
  4. Eat something: Street food options will be plentiful (and delicious) so try the local fare.

DON’T

  1. If you’re going to drink, don’t drink alone. Drink within a group of people you know and feel safe with.
  2. Know what’s in your cup/glass: Don’t accept drinks from strangers.
There is one more thing you can do:
 
Know your blood alcohol level.
 
I found this blood alcohol monitor on Amazon.
 
I liked it because it was small, inexpensive and it was well reviewed.
 
No.  I have never used one (I rarely drink).
 
But I do have friends who are more social drinkers.
 
and they never leave home without some type of blood alcohol monitoring device.

 

3. Possession Of Marijuana

[Summary conviction = 5 years in jail; Conviction on indictment = 10 years in jail. Source: here]
You would be surprised to know how many people erroneously believe ALL Caribbean islands have a liberal cannibis policy.
 
You’re headed to a Caribbean island.
 
They all smoke weed there… right?
 
NO!
 
In fact, many Caribbean islands (and Tobago is no exception) are very strict about marijuana possession and use.
 
And if you are found with this contraband close to a school the penalties get even heavier.
 
You should know that school is given a very wide interpretation so a safer bet is to find an alternative high.
 
In Tobago?
 
This is very possible.
 
Enter chocolate.
 
It has the same anandamide as marijuana with none of the “arrested abroad” side effects
 
Get yourself some award winning Tobago Cocoa to mimic a much much much much much milder high.
 
And cheese.
 
Tobago makes feta cheese.
 
This is no guarantee but eating cheese could trigger your brain’s opioid receptors.
 
It gives a similar euphoric feeling to a weed high.
 
Josefa Pleasant at the Orange Hill Nature Ranch offers all the Tobago goat cheese your opioid receptors can stand.

 

2. Anal Sex

[Liable on conviction to 25 years imprisonment; Source: here ]
This offence is shocking simply because of the amount of jail time it attracts.
 
So Tobago may not be the most gay-friendly vacation destination.
 
However, you can still have a good time.
 
Just be careful.
 
The “act” may be against the law but nothing prevents you from wearing your pride.
 
Here’s a simple and subtle pride bracelet that says it all:
 
Heck at that price, get two.

 

1. Obscene Language

[Imprisonment for thirty (30) days; Source: here]
And in the number one spot?
Cursing.
 
Many tourists are downright flabbergasted at the thought of being arrest abroad for using foul language.
 
My client (and my friend) were no different.
 
Yes.
 
Using “obscene, indecent or profane language” can get you a maximum of 30 days.
 
Instead of swearing it, try wearing it.
 
How clever you want to get is up to you.

1 comment

  1. This was very informative and well presented. I actually enjoyed reading it. I am impressed. Keep it coming.

    I see also those artiste performing abroad (in Tobago) without a work permit and even using indecent language on stage.

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