Don’t drive a horse after drinking alcohol.
That was the message California Highway Patrol officers in Merced delivered to a rider on a horse whom they promptly removed from behind the reins for riding across the range while intoxicated.
According to the patrol’s September 10 Instagram, its officer Cody Brackett, who was on duty that evening, saw the horseman carrying an open container of alcohol. He approached the rider out of “concern for everyone’s safety,” the post said, and it then became clear to Brackett that the rider was “impaired from alcohol,” which led to him being arrested for DUI. .
The post said California’s Vehicle Code 21050 applies to people riding animals on the highway, not just those riding in vehicles.
Its clear words are: “Every person riding or driving an animal on a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the duties applicable to the driver of the vehicle.”
A video of animals interacting was also posted in the patrol team’s post. It depicts Brackett driving his patrol car with the lights on, while the horse walks alongside him.
“Demonstrating true compassion, Officer Brackett also ensured the safe return of the horse to its original location following the arrest,” the post reads.
Officials also used the occasion to remind drivers – and riders – to “prioritize responsible and sober actions on our roadways.”
“This incident serves as a reminder that poor riding, even on a horse, poses risks to both the rider and other people on the road,” the post said.