Man Arrested, Charged, Over Riding Horse With Booze: Police


A man who was horseback riding with an open container of alcohol was charged with a DUI.
It turns out that California’s drink-driving laws also apply to horse riders.
California Highway Patrol escorted the horse back home, a video shows.
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A man was arrested on a DUI charge after police say that they caught him horseback riding with an open container of alcohol.
The case is a perhaps surprising reminder that California’s drink-driving laws also apply to people riding an animal.
Officer Kody Brackett of the California Highway Patrol in Merced spotted somebody riding a horse on the highway with an open container of alcohol while out on duty, the CHP-Merced said in a Facebook post. It didn’t say what the alcohol was.
He made contact with the rider, who was evidently “impaired by alcohol,” the CHP said in the post.
The rider was arrested under a DUI charge earlier this week.
“It’s worth noting that, according to California Vehicle Code 21050, the rules of the road apply to those operating animals on the highway,” the CHP said.
The California Vehicle Code contains detailed legislation about it being illegal to drive a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
But a lesser-known statute also legislates that anyone “riding or driving an animal upon a highway has all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.”
It traces back to a 1993 ruling in an appellate court in California. In People vs. Fong, it was ruled that those riding animals or any other non-automobile vehicles on the highway are subject to the same rules as car drivers.
This week’s incident, and subsequent arrest, “serves as a reminder that impaired riding, even on a horse, poses risks to both the rider and others on the road,” the CHP said.
Nobody appears to have been hurt. The CHP did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Brackett ensured the safe return home of the horse following the arrest, the CHP said, with a video shared on Instagram showing the horse walking alongside the police vehicle.
This isn’t the first time somebody has been charged with a DUI for riding a horse while allegedly being under the influence.
In 2017, The Washington Post reported on a 53-year-old woman in Florida who was charged with a DUI after deputies found her riding her horse on the highway. A county judge later ruled that she was unfit to care for her horse and she was made to undergo treatment for alcohol addiction.


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