Like most people, you probably don’t think of a horse as a vehicle. It’s certainly a helpful animal and does assist you in getting from one place to another, but it’s not really the same as a motor vehicle. Interestingly, you could potentially get a DWI, but most states do limit DWIs to motor vehicle operations.
That being said, if you are riding a horse while intoxicated, you could face other penalties. For example, you might be accused of public intoxication or causing a nuisance, both which could result in penalties.
Texas’s definition of a vehicle
Texas DWI law says that the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated is required to face a DWI charge. Specifically, the law includes vehicles such as:
Horseback riding isn’t specifically discussed, but it would be unusual to be arrested for a DWI for riding while intoxicated.
There could be penalties, even if a DWI isn’t one of them
Realize that while a DWI may not be possible because of riding a horse, you could face other charges and penalties. For instance, you may have to pay fines for riding a horse on a highway or road where they are not allowed. You could face charges for public intoxication or other traffic violations, too.
If you cause a crash or harm someone or their property, you could also be held accountable for those actions, even though they took place while you were riding a horse.
Stopped for riding dangerously? Look into your options.
Since riding a horse while impaired is a relatively unique issue, it benefits you to learn more about the law and the different charges that you could face. While you may not necessarily be at risk of a DWI, you could face other penalties that could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars and leave a black mark on your record.
Regardless of the penalties you could face, keep in mind that you do have a right to defend yourself. You can fight to protect your freedoms and avoid a conviction for any charges you do face.