DUI on horseback. Is that even possible? You may be surprised to learn that DUIs on horseback have been raised against people before, even in 2009 (contrary to popular belief, there was no such thing as DUIs at a time when horseback riding was the predominant mode of travel). Which reminds me, this is not some witty, tricky article to try to read you about anything. I’m not going to talk about the DUI law in the 1880s. This is an analysis of today's DUI laws and what you might get riding on a drunk horse today.
Being a Seattle, Washington, DUI lawyer, I will use the Seattle DUI law in my example of analyzing whether or not you can get a DUI on horseback. And while I can't be sure, this may be one of the few times that Seattle law actually applies to all parties in all fifty states. Whether or not I still have to ask that if you have a DUI issue and you are not in Seattle, contact a DUI attorney in your state and discuss your issues. The laws may vary from country to country, so you need to know the laws of your country to make an informed decision.
Let's set the scene for a DUI on a horse test. It starts like any other day. You go out to your friends to ride his horses (he lives in one of those apartment complexes that has mounted equestrian trails throughout the subdivision). But before you go, you'll be watching a Mariner game on TV. During the game, since it's Saturday and all, you decide to drink a couple of beers. And the couple turns into ten. You're pretty drunk at the end of the game, but you cripple your horse and get going anyway.
About halfway through, you are on a residential street that crosses between lanes when a Seattle police officer approaches and asks you what you are doing. You tell him, and he asks you to get off your horse to explore further. Even though you didn't realize it by then, you still have all of Mariner's equipment, including the complete uniform (you're a huge fan). As the Seattle police officer talks to you, he asks if you have been drinking. You say yes and then you agree to some field sobriety tests. And then you'll be arrested for the Seattle DUI.
When you finally talk to your Seattle DUI attorney, he says he can drop the charges immediately. But how? Let's look at the DUI statute to understand this.
RCW 46.61.502 states that drunk driving drives a vehicle in that condition while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. The Seattle DUI can be proven in three ways: (1) an air breathing test above .08; (2) showing signs of intoxication with alcohol or drugs; or (3) showing signs of intoxication i medicines.
But the analysis does not begin here, because an earlier step is included. Definition of "vehicle". And a vehicle, as you might imagine, covers many things – but they all have engines and wheels and are moving because of some type of machinery. I would write down the definition of a vehicle, but it is too long. But I can tell you one thing, the vehicle does not include horses.
So here it is. It's impossible to be convicted of a Sejutan DUI on a horse. This does not work because the horse is not considered a vehicle, and operating the vehicle is a necessary element of the crime. However, this does not mean that you could not be charged with other crimes, or that you should ride a drunk horse. If you didn't know, it can really hurt to fall off a horse.