Don't drink and drive ... a horse.
That's the message California Highway Patrol officers in Merced laid on a horseback rider, who they promptly removed from behind the reins for drunkenly riding the range.
According to a Sept. 10 Instagram from the patrol, its officer Kody Bracket on duty that evening noticed the horseback rider carrying an open container of alcohol. He contacted the rider due to being "concerned for everyone's safety," the post said," and it then became evident to Brackett that the rider was "impaired by alcohol," leading to their arrest for a DUI.
The post noted that California's Vehicle Code 21050 does also apply to people riding animals on the highway, not just riding in vehicles.
Its explicit words are: "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."
The patrol's post came with a video of the animal interaction, too. It shows Brackett driving his patrol car with its lights on, while the horse walks alongside it.
"In a display of true compassion, Officer Brackett also ensured the safe return of the horse to its origin after the arrest," the post read.
Officers also used the opportunity to remind drivers — and riders — to "prioritize responsible and sober actions on our roadways."
"This incident serves as a reminder that impaired riding, even on a horse, poses risks to both the rider and others on the road," the post said.
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