A Louisiana man avoided a DWI charge in September by getting a ride from a four-legged friend. Jake Williams was apprehended by the police in Watson, Louisiana. Williams drove his truck, with his horse, Sugar, in a horse trailer, to a local bar. Upon leaving, Williams decided that he was too intoxicated to drive the truck, so he mounted the horse instead. Someone called the cops, but since Williams was not in a motorized vehicle, deputies could not charge Williams with DWI and instead ticketed him for public intoxication.

The consequences of a DUI conviction in California are serious and long-lasting. If you are charged now or in the future with DWI in southern California, get the legal help you need at once and contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney. California, like most states, defines a “vehicle” as “a device” that moves people or property. In 2009, when police officers in Modoc County charged two men with DUI for riding a horse, District Attorney Kermit McManus dropped the charge because, said McManus, a horse “did not meet the definition of a vehicle.”

Whether or not an intoxicated horseback rider can receive a DWI or DWI charge varies from state to state. Michigan is the only state where the DWI law specifically includes horseback riding, but other states – such as Kentucky – forbid the operation of “non-motorized” vehicles while intoxicated, and the courts in those states count horses as non-motorized vehicles. But even when a state does not prosecute horse riders for DWI , it’s not a good idea. Anyone drunk on a horse will probably be cited for public intoxication or disorderly conduct.

If you’re charged with driving under the influence for any reason in southern California, speak at once with a defense attorney who can assess the charges against you, examine the witnesses, and gather evidence for your defense. A good DWI defense lawyer will fight aggressively for justice on your behalf. Penalties can be stiff and the consequences can be long-term if you’re convicted of DUI in California, so after any DWI arrest, get in touch immediately with an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.