Judge: Woman arrested for DUI on horse unfit to care for him, must undergo alcohol program

Donna Byrne and the horse that was confiscated by authorities.

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A judge says that a woman who was arrested for DUI while riding her horse is unfit to care for him and put her horse “Bo Duke” in the care of her friends while she completes an alcohol treatment program.

Donna Byrne, 53, was arrested for DUI on Nov. 2 after a concerned citizen called 911 to report seeing a woman who appeared confused and possibly in danger.

A deputy spotted Byrne apparently weaving on Combee Road in Polk County. The deputy stopped her and gave her a field sobriety check. The deputy eventually arrested Byrne and took her horse into custody.

Her blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit.

Byrne claims she was not drunk when she was stopped.

“I wasn’t drunk,” Byrne told News Channel 8. “I only had two beers, how could I be drunk?”

“They said I was slumped over in the saddle. I was scratching my leg.”

The court did grant her supervised visitation rights, as it was ruled Byrne provided proper care for the horse prior to riding it intoxicated.

Byrne stated during her testimony she would do anything to keep the horse.

A status hearing will be held in January.

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