California Highway Patrol officers made an “equine stop” Sunday and pulled over a 49-year-old man suspected of riding a horse while intoxicated near Watsonville.
The drunk rider was reported at 6:08 p.m. near state Highway 152 and College Road, and was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication after a DUI evaluation.
“Yes, we did say rider!” the California Highway Patrol said in an Instagram post, adding that it’s illegal to operate any vehicle while intoxicated, including a horse.
In this case, the responding officer did not decide to arrest the man for an alleged DUI offense, but CHP Officer Julieta Trenado said riding a horse while intoxicated is a crime and the man may be charged with DUI after a complete investigation.
Nicholas Lucchesi, a spokesman for the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office, said the office has likely never charged someone with DUI on a horse.
The horse is named Soraya and was safely taken home by a family member. The rider, a Watsonville man, was taken to a sobering center in downtown Santa Cruz.