In an unusual traffic incident, a man on horseback in central California found himself arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) while riding with an open container of alcohol. The incident occurred on September 10 in Merced, approximately 115 miles east of San Jose, and was captured on video by the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
Officer Kody Brackett of the CHP in Merced was on duty when he spotted the horseback rider carrying an open container of what appeared to be alcohol. Brackett approached the rider and conducted a brief investigation, leading him to suspect that the individual was impaired by alcohol. The traffic stop ultimately resulted in the rider’s arrest for DUI, according to authorities.
The unusual incident drew attention to a lesser-known aspect of California law.
“It’s worth noting that, according to California Vehicle Code 21050, the rules of the road apply to those operating animals on the highway,” CHP Merced said in a statement detailing the incident.
What sets this incident apart is not just the arrest but the response from Brackett. After taking the rider into custody, he took the additional step of ensuring the safe return of the horse to its home.
While the incident didn’t result in any injuries or accidents, the California Highway Patrol took the opportunity to remind the public about the dangers of impaired driving, regardless of the mode of transportation.
“This incident serves as a reminder that impaired riding, even on a horse, poses risks to both the rider and others on the road. We commend Officer Brackett’s dedication to upholding safety standards in all situations. Let’s continue to prioritize responsible and sober actions on our roadways,” the CHP said on Instagram.