California Horseback Rider Gets DUI Charge

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California Horseback Rider Gets DUI Charge
California Horseback Rider Gets DUI Charge

Most people probably think DUI laws only apply to individuals driving cars, which is why we see people getting caught with Power Wheels, bicycles, buggies, and even on horseback while tipsy. The latest example of this mistaken belief put into action comes via California where a man was riding his pony while holding an open alcohol container, something a California Highway Patrol officer noticed.

Mustang driver killed while street racing.

According to CHP – Merced, where the officer is based, California Vehicle Code 21050 applies not only to cars and motorcycles but also animals operated on a highway. So you can’t ride your donkey, ostrich, or pet goat while plastered, at least not in the Golden State.


While arresting a guy for riding a horse while drunk sounds fun and different, it presented a unique problem: what to do with the horse. CHP probably would’ve been justified in calling animal control and letting them figure that out. Instead, the officer who made the DUI stop personally ensured the horse’s return to its home.

CHP didn’t mention if the officer rode the horse back to its stable or walked it, but we do admire than the man did whatever it took to make things right even though he didn’t commit the wrong. After all, the horse didn’t ask to be ridden bareback by someone swigging grandpa’s special sauce.

Also, as CHP rightly notes, riding while intoxicated is dangerous not only to the rider but the animal as well. Had the guy swerved his mount into a lane of traffic they both could’ve been hit by a semi or a fast-moving Tesla.

Instead of mounting up drunk, it’s best to call a horse Uber or whatever service will pick up you and your horse to take you both back home.

Image via CHP – Merced