Although the law is not directly on point, depending on the circumstances, arguably you can get a DUI while riding a horse on a roadway.
There’s a statute in California that basically says that if you are riding any animal on the roadway, then you have the same rights as a person who’s driving a motor vehicle. But you also have the same responsibilities.
California Vehicle Code Section 21050 states:
“Every person riding or driving an animal upon a highway has all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle…”
The key phrase in the statute is “and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle…”
Remember, the number one rule in California about driving is to drive in a safe manner.
If you are riding your horse on the roadway, and your horse gets spooked and you can’t control it, then you are creating a dangerous situation. As a result, you can get a citation for reckless driving, just like a person driving their car in a reckless manner. In other words, your animal is treated the same as a vehicle under California traffic laws.
Driving a car while you are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is illegal because of the danger that it poses to the driver as well as other people.
If you are riding your horse in an intoxicated state, then you are not being safe. Riding a horse while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs poses risks to everyone around you. Thus, it is possible to be charged with a DUI while riding your horse on a public street.
If you have any questions with regard to your specific situation or you’ve been charged with DUI, feel free to call me: (866) 442-2722 – and we can evaluate your particular situation.