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Can You Get a DUI for Riding a Horse While Drunk?

Nicole Cosgrove

May 27, 2021

In many parts of America, horse-riding is still a popular way of transportation. With more severe punishments on the rise for getting a DUI, it’s no surprise that people are looking for alternative ways to get home from the bar. If you live in an area with many horses, it’s natural to wonder if you can get a DUI riding your horse home. The short answer is yes and no, but probably not. It takes a bit more explanation than that, so keep reading while we look deeper into the subject of DUIs and check out the laws pertaining to horses. We’ll also discuss other trouble you can get into that you should consider before riding your horse under the influence of alcohol.

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Can I Get Pulled Over While Riding My Horse Drunk?

horse riding 2_angiwalch_Pixabay
Image Credit: angiwalch, Pixabay

Yes, you can get pulled over any time a policeman feels that you are doing something wrong. You may not need a license, but the officer might still ask you some questions and possibly give you a sobriety test if you are visually intoxicated or if the officer feels that you are intoxicated after hearing your responses to the questions.

Will I Get a DUI If I Fail a Sobriety Test or a Breathalyzer?

Probably. The laws vary in every state, and you will need to check if the DUI laws in your home state apply to horses. However, many police officers don’t know every law, and unless they see drunk people riding horses regularly, they are unlikely to know the correct charge and will charge you with a DUI. Some police officers who do know the law may also charge you with a DUI to discourage others from attempting to ride a horse while intoxicated. However, in most states, DUI laws pertain only to motor vehicles, so the charge will be dropped or changed in court to something more appropriate.

What if I Get Charged with a DUI Riding My Horse Drunk?

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Image Credit: martinme2d, Pixabay

If you got caught in one of the few states like Kentucky where DUI laws apply, you would need to get yourself a good lawyer. In the remaining states, officials would change the charge to something more appropriate, some with penalties just as severe. They might charge you with public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, cruelty to animals, and many others.

What if I Drive a Horse and Carriage Drunk?

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Image Credit: Holger Detje, Pixabay

While most states will allow you to get away with riding your horse home drunk because it’s not a motor vehicle, almost every state will allow the DUI to stick if you are pulling a carriage or buggy. Though they don’t have a motor, they are a road vehicle, and the driver cannot have a high blood alcohol level. We highly recommend leaving the horse and buggy where it is if you are drunk.

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Summary

While the DUI will most likely get dropped in most states, you may still face stiff fines. You will also need to attend court appointments to beat the ticket. While riding a horse drunk may not be as dangerous to others as a motor vehicle, it can be deadly for the rider. A drunken rider can easily fall off and be injured, and they may also ride into low-hanging branches that can knock the rider off. You may also be more likely to take risks, and strange behavior can startle a horse.

SEE ALSO: Miniature Horses as Emotional Support Animals: Everything You Need to Know


Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.