Florida Woman Charged With DUI After Drunk-Driving Her Horse On A Busy Freeway
Today’s oddball news takes us to one of FML’s favorite places - Florida, home to 53-year-old Donna Byrne and her horse. Last Thursday afternoon, Byrne decided to take her horse out for a nice 15 mile stroll from Lakeland to Polk City, about 35 miles east of Tampa. Going out for a ride wouldn’t have been so bizarre, had Donna not been on the freeway.
The odd sight, paired with a confused look on Byrne’s face concerned several passing drivers, who alerted police, saying that both she and her horse were in danger.
When police stopped her in Polk City, she dismounted her horse, wobbling like Jack Sparrow through Barbuda or literally anywhere.
“I can tell you it’s going to be interesting if (the DUI charge) goes through,” said a spokesman for the Polk County Sheriff's office said to the Washington Post. “The way sheriffs look at it, the woman put a saddle and bridle on this horse and was riding it to get from point A to point B. For all intents and purposes, we look at that as a vehicle.”
Since the ruling of California’s the People vs. Fong in 1993, people riding animals on the freeway are subject to the same rules as drivers, so Byrne was charged with driving under the influence, in a case in which her vehicle is a horse. She was also charged with animal neglect for putting the horse in danger.
The horse has been taken into custody by the Polk County Sheriff's Animal Control Livestock facility where he or she is nice and safe. As for Donna, who know what’s next for her in the strange world of Florida.