Polk City woman arrested for DUI on horse

Donna Byrne and the horse that was confiscated by authorities.

POLK CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – A call from a concerned citizen led to the arrest of a Polk City woman on a charge of DUI on a horse.

Deputies responded to Combee Road near North Crystal Lake Road in Lakeland at 1:37 p.m. on Thursday. A passerby had called 911 to report seeing a woman who appeared confused and possibly in danger.

Deputies say they arrived to find Donna Byrne, 53-years old, on a horse and smelling of alcohol. She had red, watery eyes and was staggering.

A field sobriety test was conducted, and she was arrested for DUI. Deputies say Byrne provided breath samples of .157 and .161. A breath alcohol level of .08 is the legal limit in Florida.

“She had ridden that horse probably about ten miles just as drunk as she could be,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. “This lady was twice the legal limit. She was scaring the cars cause was weaving the horse up near and onto the road. And back off into the side of the road.”

Byrne was also was charged with animal neglect for failing to provide proper protection for the horse, which was being ridden in the roadway, placing it in jeopardy of being injured or killed, according to deputies.

“If you’re going to ride a horse in Polk County, stay sober or stay in a pasture,” Sheriff Judd said.

The horse was taken by deputies to the Polk County Sheriff’s Animal Control livestock facility.

Byrne’s prior criminal history includes five felony and 10 misdemeanor charges, consisting of cruelty to animals, drug possession, probation violation, and criminal traffic.

“Ms. Byrne was obviously not in any condition to be on the road. She not only put herself and the horse in danger, but also anyone who was driving on the road, which is typically very busy.”


WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s