Like every other state, Florida has adopted strict DUI laws to keep its roadways safe. While many people would assume that these laws apply solely to motorists and boaters, the mandates also carry over to other modes of transportation. In Florida and elsewhere, it is entirely possible to be detained and arrested for DUI on a horse if you are caught riding a horse while under the influence of alcohol.
Woman Arrested for DUI While Riding a Horse
It can be difficult for some people to believe that a charge of horse DUI actually exists in Florida or anywhere else in the U.S. In fact, this DUI riding a horse offense does exist, and people can and are many times charged with DUI on a horse. A Florida woman recently founded out that the answer to “Can you get a DUI riding a horse?” is a resounding yes.
This 53-year old woman, a resident of Lakeland in Polk County, recently decided to ride her horse rather than drive her car after consuming a significant amount of alcohol. Passersby saw her acting oddly while riding the horse and notified the local police.
The Polk County sheriff stopped her alongside a local Lakeland road and quickly determined that she was under the influence of alcohol. After seeing her bloodshot eyes, smelling the odor of alcohol on her breath, and watching her act confused and agitated, the sheriff arrested her on the charge of DUI riding a horse. When her blood alcohol content or BAC was tested, she was found to have a level of 0.161, which is twice the legal limit in the state of Florida.
As she probably wondered, “Can you get a DUI on a horse?” she also found herself charged with animal endangerment and failure to protect her horse while riding it alongside the busy city road. The sheriff took the horse into protective custody. They noted that this woman put not only herself and her horse in danger but also the public. These extra charges were added to her original horse DUI charge.
This recent incident should answer anyone who wonders can you get a DUI on a horse in Florida or elsewhere. Just as the DUI laws apply to people who drive a car or operate a boat under the influence, so do they apply to people who think they can get away with going over the legal limit of alcohol consumption by hopping on the back of a horse and riding home. They will find themselves charged with the same DUI offense as an inebriated motorist or boater and face the same legal consequences, which can include jail time, fines, and other penalties.
After reviewing this story, you might ask yourself how can you get a DUI riding a horse. After all, this woman was not driving a car or operating a boat or heavy machinery. What risk did she really pose to the public?
As the sheriff’s office in Polk County concluded, her blood alcohol limit impaired her judgment, so much so that she could have killed herself, her horse, or another motorist in the road had she inadvertently steered the horse onto the roadway or fell off of the horse. She lacked the mental capacity to make good decisions because of how high her BAC level was at the time of her offense.
Florida makes this determination because of how it regards the legal BAC limit and what constitutes a safe level of alcohol in the human body. Like most states, Florida uses the base limit of 0.08 for adults ages 21 and over. Anyone found to have a BAC of 0.08 or higher can and will be charged with DUI regardless of whether this person is driving a car, operating a boat, or riding a horse.
How long it takes you to reach the 0.08 minimum BAC limit depends on factors like how much you weigh, what your gender is, and how accustomed you are to drinking alcohol. Men typically can drink more than women before they reach the legal limit to be charged with a DUI. You can determine how fast it will take you to reach 0.08 by using a calculator that takes these and other factors into consideration before telling you how much you can drink before you reach the DUI cutoff in Florida and other states.
Nonetheless, if you find yourself charged with a DUI while riding a horse, driving a car, or operating another mode of transportation, you have legal rights that must be safeguarded during the process. You can hire a lawyer to take your DUI case. Your attorney will know how the DUI laws apply to your particular situation and may possibly help you escape the worst punishment for the offense.
Florida considers riding a horse to be a mode of transportation to which its DUI laws apply. A recent incident involving a Polk County woman highlights how these “DUI on a horse” laws can lead to the same legal consequences