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Judge Demands Lady's Horse Taken Away after Riding While Drunk

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Plug the words “Florida man” into your search engine of choice, and you’ll find yourself showered with all sorts of wacky news items, everything from bizarre crimes to oddball scams to simply epic fails.

There seems to be something about the Sunshine State that metamorphoses ordinary transgressions into odd antics.

Just consider the case of 53-year-old Polk City resident Donna Byrne. On November 2, 2017, Byrne was arrested for DUI — while riding a horse.



The entire incident began when the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call saying that a rider on the side of the road seemed confused.

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When a deputy arrived on the scene, he discovered Byrne, who he said had red, watery eyes, could barely stay on her feet after dismounting, and positively reeked of alcohol.

According to the Sherrif’s Office, her blood alcohol content was twice the legally allowed level, which led the deputy to arrest Byrne and take her horse, Bo Duke, into custody.

When Byrne’s case came to court last month, Polk County Judge Sharon Franklin declared that not only must Byrne undergo rehab, she’d have to let the police continue to care for Bo Duke.

Why? Franklin said that the animal was in “jeopardy of being injured or killed.”

The case sounds both silly and sad, but according to Byrne, the whole thing is a big mistake. “I wasn’t drunk,” she told WRIC.

“I only had two beers. How could I be drunk?

“They said I was slumped over in the saddle. I was scratching my leg.”



Byrne has also told WFLA that she feels “like I’m under house arrest. … I got some people that are wanting to pick a fight and I don’t want to go out there and fight anybody.”

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Additionally, her attorney, Craig Whisenhunt, believes the charges don’t hold up.

“By law, a horse rider on the side of the road is to be treated as a pedestrian and a pedestrian can’t readily be DUI.”

No matter how the odd case eventually shakes up, you can rest assured that Bo Duke will stay in a-OK shape.

What’s more, Byrne will be allowed to visit her horse since the court decided she’d properly cared for the animal prior to her arrest.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Education
Wheaton College
Location
Florida
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith, Travel




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