Judge: Woman unfit to care for horse after DUI while riding

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By: Associated Press
December 30, 2017

Donna Byrne (Polk County Sheriff's Office)

BARTOW, Fla. (AP) -- A judge says a Florida sheriff's office must retain custody of a horse whose owner was charged with driving drunk while riding the animal.

In a report by The Ledger, Polk County Judge Sharon Franklin said 53-year-old Donna Byrne was unfit to care for the horse. Franklin also said Byrne must complete treatment for alcohol addiction.

Byrne was arrested on Nov. 2 after riding her horse down a highway. Police said her breath samples registered a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit.

Byrne's attorney, Craig Whisenhunt, said he would revisit the custody issue at a Jan. 11 hearing regarding additional pending charges of disorderly intoxication, animal endangerment and culpable negligence.

Whisenhunt said he questioned whether the charges applied to Byrne, saying his client was a pedestrian under the law and had not been disorderly.

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