Judge: Woman unfit to care for horse after DUI while riding

Posted at 4:36 PM, Dec 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-30 16:36:00-05

BARTOW, Fla. (AP) - A judge says a Florida sheriff's office must retain custody of a horse whose owner was charged with driving drunk while riding the animal.

In a report by The Ledger , Polk County Judge Sharon Franklin said 53-year-old Donna Byrne was unfit to care for the horse.

Franklin also said Byrne must complete treatment for alcohol addiction.

Byrne was arrested Nov. 2 after riding her horse down a highway. Police said her breath samples registered a blood alcohol level twice Florida's legal limit.

Byrne's attorney, Craig Whisenhunt, said he would revisit the custody issue at a Jan. 11 hearing regarding additional pending charges of disorderly intoxication, animal endangerment and culpable negligence.

Whisenhunt said he questioned whether the charges applied to Byrne, saying his client had not been disorderly and she was a pedestrian under the law.