Very Strange Fla. DUI Case Just Got Stranger

Judge rules that woman charged with riding horse while drunk is unfit, cops must take care of animal
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 31, 2017 6:37 AM CST
Donna Byrne, of Lakeland, Fla. Law enforcement officials charged Bryne with driving under the influence while riding a horse down a busy Florida highway on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017.   (Polk County Sheriff's Office via AP)
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(Newser) – A Florida sheriff's office must retain custody of a horse whose owner was charged with drunken driving while riding the animal, with Polk County Judge Sharon Franklin finding that 53-year-old Donna Byrne was unfit to care for the horse, reports the Ledger. Franklin also said Byrne must complete treatment for alcohol addiction, reports the AP, but allowed her to visit the horse, Bo Duke, so long as she was sober. Byrne was arrested Nov. 2 after riding her horse down a highway. Police said her blood-alcohol level was twice Florida's legal limit.

Byrne's attorney, Craig Whisenhunt, says he will revisit the custody issue at a Jan. 11 hearing regarding additional pending charges of disorderly intoxication, animal endangerment, and culpable negligence. Whisenhunt questions whether the charges even apply to Byrne, telling the Ledger that "Donna was a pedestrian by law, and you can’t be DUI as a pedestrian."


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