Can being under the influence while in control of the reins of a horse-drawn buggy subject you to the drunk driving laws in California? Yes, it may!
In Pennsylanvia, two people were allegedly in control of the reins of a horse-drawn buggy that ended up in the path of a car causing an accident, according to cumberlink.com. The people involved were not hurt; however, the horse suffered nonlife-threatening injuries. Both “drivers” were arrested for driving under the influence.
If this accident occured in California, the “driver” of the buggy could be charged with drunk driving. Under California Vehicle Code Section 21050, ” 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 by this division…”
Under the California Vehicle Code Section 670, a vehicle is defined as a “device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon a highway, excepting a device moved exclusively by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.”
California law enforcement and prosecutors are always trying to expand the meaning of vehicle and highway, making more acts illegal under the DUI laws. However, any drunk driving case involving a horse or other animal should be challenged. Common sense says an animal is not a vehicle!
If you are charged with a DUI while riding a horse or a horse-drawn buggy, contact The Law Offices of Susan L. Hartman, an exclusive drunk driving firm, to find out more about your rights. For a free, confidential case evaluation, use the “Contact Us” form on this page or call 619-260-1122 today.