SANTA CRUZ COUNTY (CBS SF) – 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.

A Santa Cruz County CHP officer performs a sobriety test on a man who was riding a horse and was subsequently arrested for public intoxication. (CHP Santa Cruz/Instagram)

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.


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