Tag Archives: horse

Florida Woman Charged with DUI on a Horse!

donna byrne

Donna Byrne 

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has charged Donna Byrne with a DUI on a horse, after she was caught riding in the road, and blew a .161, which is twice the legal limit for driving. Here’s the thing, the DUI statute specifically says driving or in actual control of a vehicle. We’ve talked about it before– the law in Florida does not provide for a DUI on a horse. She has also been charged with animal neglect and failing to provide proper protection for the horse. I doubt this qualifies as animal neglect where there is no harm to the horse (unless she did something inherently dangerous like taking it out on the highway). She may be guilty of something, but I think she can beat the DUI!

Bull Rider Lassos Bike Thief

cowboy robert borba

Bull Rider Robert Borba and his Lasso

Full-time cowboy Robert Borba was in the parking lot of WalMart when he saw a bike thief escaping on his stolen wheels. Borba is clearly a gentleman who will help out a lady in distress. Borba acted quickly, saying, “Grabbed Old Grey from the trailer and went for him.” He was able to get a rope on the thief, and detain him until authorities arrived.

Borba is a professional rodeo rider… and soon to be the most popular cowboy on the circuit!

It was nice to read some good news instead of the bad…

DUI on a horse: Update

I got some feedback from friend of the firm Christopher Brown, now a Defense attorney in SWFL.  While he was an intern with the prosecutor’s office several years back, a DUI on a horse landed on his desk.  That means some hotshot cop arrested some guy on a horse and threw him in jail for a night.  Probably took his driver’s license, too.  Chris did the right thing and dropped the case, but I now have my confirmation that there are cops who will arrest somebody for it, regardless of the law.

Chris reports his reasoning was that a drunk driver points a car into traffic and potentially trouble.  But a horseback rider, if he points that horse at traffic, that horse just ain’t gonna go.  I’m paraphrasing, but you get the point.  Since that case didn’t go anywhere, I am still unaware of any published case law on the issue.  I don’t know if there’s any law against riding a drunk horse…

Man sitting on a dead horse

Update: More from Chris: “Now that my memory has been refreshed I think I called the cop to tell him I was dumping it and he was okay with it. He said the guy was so drunk he was just afraid he would fall of the horse into the street or somehow cause and accident and he just wanted to take him off the street that night. Cops need more training on Marchment… they are always finding reasons to arrest drunks for their own protection.”  The cop’s heart may have been in the right place, but not on the right side of the law!

Squirrel and horse related DUI news

Dewey the squirrel- in action

Of course, in Florida:  Dewey the squirrel runs rampant in Fleming Island:  (get it, ‘Dewey’?)

This was a top story on cnn.com, and I had to share.  Warren Michael was driving with his new pet squirrel, and says it got in his shirt and caused the erratic driving that led to a DUI arrest.  Also, he’d had a few drinks.  Riding with a squirrel = not illegal, but driving with your “normal faculties impaired” is illegal, regardless of whether you’ve got ants in your pants.  I suspect the squirrel was no longer in his shirt when he was asked to perform the field sobriety exercises.

Reminder, if you are ever charged with a crime… ANY crime, and the press comes calling, call your attorney before you talk to them!

Now, can one of my journalist friends explain to me why the reporter included the ‘action shot’ of him walking up to the house to do the interview?

Charles Cowart mug shot

Also in Florida: Man arrested for after drunken horse-riding adventure:

Not far from Dewey’s antics, a man in Bunnel, Florida was arrested after a little rampage while drunkenly riding around on a horse.  Charles Cowart has been charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, aggravated fleeing, and animal cruelty.  He was riding around in major traffic on US 1: apparently he even caused a train to stop.  As far as I can tell, no DUI charges.  I don’t think a DUI can be charged on a horse in Florida, though that’s not as bad as animal cruelty, a felony.  This happened in the middle of the afternoon.  Spectacular.