Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in Arizona?

Riding a horse Arizona has strict DUI laws, including some obscure ones that can carry devastating legal and financial consequences. One question that equestrians in the state often want to know is if you can get a DUI on a horse in Arizona.

Here’s an exposition of the state’s DUI laws and how they apply to intoxicated horse riding. We’ll first look at a couple of relevant definitions, and then we’ll see how they apply to the question: “Is riding a horse drunk a DUI?”

Arizona Legal Definition: Under the Influence

The first relevant definition is what constitutes intoxication. Arizona has a zero-tolerance policy for motor vehicles who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and this term “under the influence” is specifically defined by the state. The state defines the term according to blood alcohol level (BAC):

  • BAC below 0.05% is “use caution”
  • BAC of 0.05 to 0.79% “may be impaired”
  • BAC of 0.08% or higher is “presumed under the influence”

Based on these levels, a BAC of 0.08% or higher is automatically considered intoxicated enough to warrant a DUI if the person is operating a motor vehicle. A BAC of at least 0.05% might warrant a DUI, depending on other factors.

Arizona Legal Definition: Motor Vehicle

The second definition that comes into play is “motor vehicle,” for you must be operating a motor vehicle in order to be charged with DUI.

Arizona generally defines a motor vehicle as a “self-propelled vehicle” or a “self-propelled vehicle” that’s driven on state highways and powered by motor vehicle fuel. The code gives exceptions to certain types of mobility devices, such as personal delivery devices, motorized wheelchairs, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric bicycles, scooters and skateboards, and some other devices. Many of these are further defined in the state’s legal code.

For the purposes of answering “can you get a DUI for riding a horse,” the most important aspect of this definition is that the vehicle must be self-propelled.

Can You Get a DUI on a Horse in Arizona?

Because horses aren’t self-propelled vehicles, you cannot get a DUI while riding a horse in Arizona. Even if your BAC levels exceed the 0.08% threshold, a horse doesn’t meet the legal definition of a motor vehicle in the state. Therefore, you can’t be charged for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.

Can You Face Other Charges While Riding a Horse Drunk?

Just because you won’t get a DUI while riding a horse drunk doesn’t mean that you’ll get off scot-free if stopped by public authorities.

Should you be riding a horse while meeting the legal definition of intoxication, there are several other charges that law enforcement may apply. Depending on the specifics of the situation, they may charge you with disorderly conduct, public intoxication, disturbing the peace, having an open alcoholic container, underage drinking, reckless endangerment, and/or animal endangerment.

Can You Get a DUI While on a Horse in Other States?

While these are how the laws in Arizona apply to riding a horse drunk, they don’t apply in other states. Each state has its own laws regarding DUI, and laws in other states may differ.

Get Help With Legal Representation

If you’ve been charged with DUI or any other intoxication-related offense, contact The Nolan Law Firm for legal assistance. We’ve helped many Arizona residents and visitors who’ve been charged with DUI offenses, and we’re ready to represent you.

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