D’oh! DUI?: Horse Tales

By January 6, 2014Thomas Law Firm

Happy New Year! Did you make any grandiose resolutions this year? Instead of quitting smoking, running a marathon, or winning your fantasy football league, how about vowing to cover 600 miles on horseback?

It wasn’t quite a new year’s resolution, but a Colorado man set out to do just that last September. Having lost his driver’s license but intent on attending his brother’s wedding, Patrick Neal Schumacher saddled up his horse in Larkspur and struck forth for Bryce, Utah. To put this in some perspective, there is an entire society for the select few horsemen that have completed single journeys of 1,000 miles or more.

Schumacher, however, only made it as far as Boulder. Visibly drunk, police found him slumped over and wandering into traffic on Baseline Road; he failed a roadside sobriety test and his horse, plus a small dog found in his backpack, was immediately impounded.

Although Schumacher was originally arrested for drunken driving, the only alcohol-related charge he now faces is for allegedly being drunk while in possession of a gun. In case you’re wondering, he did eventually make it to Utah.

Drunk riding on a horse (or any other animal, for that matter) is definitely grounds for a DUI—or at least a $25 traffic violation—in Colorado, but it’s a completely different story in Montana. Our northern neighbors actually issued a public service announcement advising people to saddle up on your “sober friend” after a few pints in order to avoid a DUI.

At the end of the day, calling a cab or designating a sober (human) driver every time you celebrate with alcohol is probably the best resolution of all. Giddy-up.

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