Drunk driving laws typically prohibit a person from driving a vehicle while either under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of .08% or higher. DUI or DWI cases can certainly be brought against drivers of cars, trucks, and motorcycles. But what about a DUI or DWI case against someone riding a horse?
The legal question in this type of DUI or DWI case will turn on how the term “vehicle” is defined in that state. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court was recently confronted with such a case, where two men were charged with drunk driving while on horseback. The court wrestled with the issue and concluded that the DUI law simply did not apply.
A similar result was reached in Utah, where the court found the law to be too confusing and vague to be applied to those riding on horseback after imbibing. The problem has recently gained attention in Kentucky, where the Mayor of Olive Hill has been asked by townspeople to enact a law to deal with the increase in drunk-horseback riding incidents.
Although MADD may ultimately get behind this issue, it would appear that for the time being a horse may prove the safest way to get home, if a taxi cab or designated driver is not available. Laws may be enacted to curb the recent increase in horse DUI’s, but in the meantime, Hi-Ho Silver away!