Can You Get A DUI On A Horse?

Can You Get DUI On Horse social

You can get a DUI on a horse in some states. Some laws consider horseback riding along the road like driving a vehicle. Other states don’t recognize it. They adhere to the technical definition of a vehicle, which refers to a motor or device.

The law of DUI (Drunk Under the Influence) is all-inclusive. It doesn’t only refer to alcohol intoxication but drug effects on the human system.

The charge of DUI will likely happen if you cause public commotion and an accident. There are records in some states that horses died due to severe injury. It’s when the negligence of a drunken rider becomes tragic.

States, where the same incident happened, have a reason to include horse riding in DUI law. You better know these states if you like riding a horse around the country. I researched them to share the details with everyone through this article.

Is A Horse Considered A Vehicle?

There are opposing beliefs about recognizing a horse as a vehicle or not. It’s according to varying statutory interpretations. I will discuss some cases that involve this matter.

Related Cases

In Alabama, a woman attempted to ram a police car by riding a horse. The court decided to dismiss the case against her due to the state’s vehicle code. The code doesn’t view the horse as a vehicle or device.

But some states don’t agree with this point of view. The Court of Kansas believes that the word ‘vehicle’ has a broad scope. It doesn’t only refer to land transportation and those that are animal-drawn. A vehicle is any device that takes a person from one point to another.

three female friends riding a horse

Familiarity with Horse Riding Along the Road

It’s inevitable to have opposing views and interpretations. But they let you understand why some states include horse riding in DUI law and some don’t. I must say that familiarity also influences the perception of people.

In big cities in the USA, there are police officers who ride a horse to patrol around crowded areas. So, it’s a common thing for the locals. Due to safety concerns, big cities won’t allow people to ride a horse along the road. Besides, a horse can create a mess that needs cleaning.

Thus, there’s a low chance of horse riding in urban areas. But it’s an everyday activity in some rural areas. So, people consider it as transportation. To not let this obstruct vehicles and the right way, there are rules to follow when riding a horse.

The person who rides a horse should abide by every traffic rule. It’s not allowed to ride in dark places and after midnight. Moreover, the rider should get off the horse when passing a crowded area and walk beside the animal. This prohibition is a preventive action against accidents.

A horse is non-motor transportation for those who are familiar with it. People from the earliest time will agree for sure.

Is it Legal to Ride a Horse Drunk?

Again, it depends on the state’s law about DUI. If it’s illegal, you have to be aware of some things. An officer will be after you if you’re drunk or affected by prohibited drugs while riding a horse. He can use a breathalyzer to check if you’re intoxicated or not.

The suspected person needs to take a blood test for further confirmation. At this point, you can refuse to undergo the procedure. But some consequences will follow. Like the suspension of your driver’s license even though you only rode a horse.

a low book with a gavel dui law

But you should know that the charge of drunk driving goes through if there’s a witness. A police officer will search for signs of drunkenness. They show in general appearance, movements, behavior, disposition, and speech. A drunken man can have glassy eyes, loss of balance, staggering, and incoherent speech.

The detection of intoxication in a blood test is between 0.5 to 0.8 BAC. There’s no excuse if your result is within this range and you have the signs mentioned above. A spark of hope is for those whose BAC is below 0.5.

Furthermore, an accusation of DUI can push through if you have more than 0.8 BAC. It can happen even though you don’t display any signs mentioned above.

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in Texas?

When you visit Texas, you’ll see drunken fellows on horses. This scenery gives you the idea that horse riding is an exemption from DUI.

Texas DUI law is only for motorized vehicles. It refers to drunken personas who control planes, cars, motorboats, motorcycles, and trucks. There’s no provision for horse riding. But police officers are not complacent when seeing some people riding horses.

An officer can still charge an offense. It may be less than DUI or putting an animal in danger. Two men in Austin got caught drunk riding a horse and a mule. Their cases only end up with the judge dismissing the case.

a brunette woman riding a horse

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in Minnesota?

The charge of DUI depends on how the state law views a horse as transportation. You can’t get a DUI on a horse in Minnesota, as the law only refers to a motor vehicle. So, you’re not under DUI when intoxicated while riding a horse.

But it doesn’t mean you can get away with charges. The authority can accuse you of animal cruelty and public intoxication. Minnesota law doesn’t consider drunk driving on a horse. It doesn’t mean it can’t cause accidents.

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in North Carolina?

You can enjoy a horse ride in North Carolina because of its magnificent mountain. But it doesn’t give you the right to do whatever you want. You can’t get drunk and ride a horse. Be careful with your actions, as North Carolina considers it DUI.

This issue reached the court. In the State vs. Dellinger, the defendant is guilty of DUI when riding a horse. The court went through the proper definition of a horse as transportation. Riding a horse on a public road is not different from driving a vehicle in the same place.

The legislation is not successful in removing the horse from the scope of DUI. It remains at the same level as drunk driving with vehicles.

a person riding horse

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in Illinois?

When proven guilty of DUI in Illinois, there are some consequences. You must devote 100 hours of community service and a penalty of at least $500. Apart from these punishments, DUI can turn into a felony case, especially if you have a higher BAC.

Illinois is strict about DUI, but you can’t still get it when drunk while riding a horse. The statute about drunk driving mentions’ vehicle’. This word refers to boats, cars, golf carts, mopeds, motorcycles, snowmobiles, and trucks. Bicycles are not on the list as they operate through human power.

It’s the same acknowledgment with the horse that moves by itself. But a human controls and directs this animal. At some point, the authority can charge you for breach of peace. It would be best if you thought letting loose while drunk with your horse may lead to destruction.

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in Montana?

The Montana Department of Transportation released an advertisement. It’s their way of motivating people to ride horses from bars. You can see a horse outside a bar in the ad.

It gives you an idea that the imposition of DUI doesn’t include riding a horse. Based on my understanding, riding a horse intoxicated rather than driving a car is better. Many wonder about it. It’s better to know the state laws than speculate.

Montana’s DUI law refers to vehicles alone and not any animal-drawn transportation. Aside from horses, wheelchairs, and bicycles are not on the list.

close up of man with alcoho and car key at night

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in Florida?

I once attended a gathering held in Northern Florida. There was a bit of a crowd, and I didn’t only enjoy it but learned some things. Some guys got drunk but rode their horses.

I can’t presume that horse riding is not under DUI in Florida. I did my research and confirmed that riding a horse drunk is not a DUI in the said state. This law applies to vehicles and devices. As we all know, a horse is not a device.

So, those drunken cowboys in the party are not lawbreakers at all. But I saw the news that a 53-year-old woman in Florida got charged with DUI from riding a horse drunk. She was at a loss when doing it on a highway.

Someone saw her and notified the police. When the authorities found the woman, they ran a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) test. The result is that she has twice the legal limit of alcohol content. So, no excuse can vouch for her.

Besides DUI, the woman received several charges. They’re animal endangerment, culpable negligence, and disorderly intoxication. Even though horse riding is not under DUI, other criminal charges can pin you down. It happens because the authorities can’t deny that there are risks and dangers.

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in Oklahoma?

The DUI law in Oklahoma has a clear statement about motor vehicles. So, a horse is not among the specified vehicles. The charge of DUI is valid when a person is under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Besides fines, the installation of an ignition interlock device is another punishment. The usage of this device goes on for a year and a half or up to four years. It depends on the times that you committed DUI.

The revocation of a driver’s license can also happen. It’s based on how grave your offense is. Moreover, it can send you to jail. It doesn’t mean you’re safe from these penalties when drunk while riding a horse.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a drunken man rode a horse with a child who was not his son. He sold his horse to another man who wanted to buy the animal for his son. This drunken man volunteered to deliver the horse to the buyer’s house as a seller. The buyer didn’t think twice and put his son on the back of the horse.

Since he’s drunk, he couldn’t figure out the buyer’s house. His search became like rummaging through every home. Due to his actions, he faced public intoxication and child endangerment.

These are DUI charges, even though a horse is not a motor vehicle. The child on the man’s back has Dynamic Hip Screw (DHS) because of the incident.

cowboy riding horse on city parade

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in New York?

One thousand motor accidents almost caused fatalities in New York as of 2019. The common cause is the influence of alcohol and drugs. Hence, this leads to the law’s primary focus on motor vehicles. So, you can’t get DUI on a horse in New York.

You can ride a horse around New York. Private owners don’t need any permission to do it. Those who put the horse on carriages and for rent need a license. It’s prohibited to leave your horse unattended.

You can’t get a DUI charge if you ride your horse drunk. But there are other charges if you cause commotion and destruction.

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in Pennsylvania?

You can get DUI on a horse in Pennsylvania. Horses and drawn vehicles are all vehicles, according to 75 Pa.C.S.A 3103. Horses are a mode of transportation where drunk driving can happen.

This charge doesn’t exempt minors. While an officer was on patrol in Wilmington, Pennsylvania, he found a 19-year-old Amish lad. This minor struggles to handle the horse with his buggy. He has a higher BAC than the limit for his age.

With all the pieces of evidence, the boy received a DUI charge. He’s not also old enough to have alcohol intake, so it adds up to the offense.

dui checkpoint

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in California?

Due to the horseback riding stations in California, you can have the best time riding a horse. But responsibility comes in every enjoyment, as you can get DUI on a horse in this state.

A person who rides an animal on the road must follow vehicle codes. It’s a statement in Section 21050 of California Vehicle states. Due to this law, there are records of DUI charges of drunken men who rode a horse.

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in Colorado?

It’s common to see horse riders along the mountainous areas of Colorado. Getting a DUI on a horse in this state won’t happen. It’s because Colorado has another law for people who ride a horse drunk.

To be specific, the DUI law in Colorado only refers to the operating of motor vehicles. When you do it on a horse, it’s a Class B traffic infraction. Animal cruelty can be another charge which falls on Class 1 Misdemeanor. It can send someone to jail for 6 to 8 months if proven guilty.

Another consequence of riding a horse drunk is a Class 3 Misdemeanor. The officer will charge you with this when you put someone at risk of having severe injuries. This misdemeanor also requires jail time of 6 months.

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in Kansas?

According to Kansas driving law, you can get a DUI on a horse. A horse is a device that transports people or goods on a public highway. Furthermore, this device moves in accord with human power.

So, the scope includes horses, carriages, bicycles, and even lawnmowers. K.S.A. 8-1504 allows people to ride animals or use animal-drawn vehicles on the road. But they have the responsibility to follow the rules like vehicle drivers.

man riding on brown horse

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in Indiana?

You can’t get a DUI on a horse in Indiana, but other charges. Police officers still stop drunk cyclists from checking blood alcohol through a breathalyzer. It will be the same scenario if you’re drunk at the back of the horse.

This offense can lead to a Class C misdemeanor, Class A misdemeanor, Level 5 felony, or Level 6 felony. It all depends on the charges. The guilty ones need to pay a fine and serve jail time.

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in Virginia?

You can’t get a DUI on a horse in Virginia, but it doesn’t mean you can do it without consequences. I saw the news about the arrest of a couple in this state. They were arguing and trying to ride horses, but police officers saw them.

The couple attempted to go back home by riding horses. They prefer to do it since they’re drunk, as it would be hard to drive for miles when intoxicated. But the police stopped them from hitting the railroad trucks.

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in Wisconsin?

You can’t get DUI on a horse in Wisconsin as its drunk driving law refers to a motor vehicle. A horse is an animal without a motor. But it’s not good to ride a horse when drunk. You can get in trouble when authorities catch you red-handed.

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in Georgia?

Georgia law considers vehicles as something that transports people and goods. It means that it approves of horses as the vehicle. O.C.G.A. Sec. 40-6-4 allows people to ride animals and control animal-drawn vehicles. They have the same rights and duties as vehicle drivers.

You may think that it’s not an exact DUI. But you have to be a responsible rider like any other driver. Don’t ride when you’re drunk, as an authority in Georgia can charge you with DUI.

horse on road

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in Michigan?

When I visited Michigan for a horse track, the vast community of horse fanatics surprised me. Because of this, I thought one could get a DUI on a horse in Michigan. But you don’t since the state law only applies to the drivers of motor vehicles.

The state still doesn’t consent to ride a horse when drunk. The possible charges for this act are public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in Ohio?

You can’t get a DUI on a horse in Ohio unless an animal pulls a buggy or carriage. A horse doesn’t have a motor or wheel, so it’s not under DUI scope. Still, riding a horse when drunk is not a good idea. You can cause public disturbance and get other kinds of charges.

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

You must get a lawyer when you have a DUI charge for drunk riding a horse. It’s a severe case, so you need a lawyer’s advice about everything. You can plead to lower your offense if your blood alcohol content is not over the limit.

Horse riding is different from driving a car. This argument is always in this case. There’s no guarantee for the desired result of this plea. But this is the technique of lawyers to ask the district attorney for a less severe charge.


You can get a DUI on a horse, depending on state law. No matter what the law is, I’d like to say that riding a horse drunk or on a drug is not the wisest thing to do. Not only that you can harm yourself and others, but it also affects the horse.

Despite the technical term of the vehicle, the driver does the same thing as the horse rider. Both the driver and rider have control of the car and horse. A man loses composure and the ability to judge right from wrong. These are the sure effects of alcohol and drugs.

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