Patrick Schumacher, 45, was riding his horse, Dillon, 600 miles to his brother’s wedding in Bryce, Utah. Police at the University of Colorado found Mr. Schumacher to be “visibly intoxicated” after tipsters stated that he was blocking traffic and hitting his horse.
Mr. Schumacher failed a field sobriety test and was taken into custody. Police searched his saddlebags and found several beer cans, a small pistol and a pup dog named Bufford.
When questioned, Mr. Schumacher explained that he had lost his driver license and was riding horsebackas his primary means of transportation. Mr. Schumacher also denied animal cruelty charges, stating that he was swatting a fly on Dillon’s head.
Driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated
Even veteran Denver DUI defense attorneys may have never defended a horse-rider in court, but the manner of operating a motor vehicle is often an issue in a DUI trial.
CRS 42-4-1301 makes it illegal to “drive any vehicle” while “under the influence of alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of both.” The definition seems straightforward, but there are many nuances:
- In a DUI accident, especially a one-car accident with no witnesses, it may be difficult for the prosecutor to prove that you were actually driving the car at the time of the accident and impaired while you were driving the car.
- Persons who are sitting in a parked car have been convicted of DUI, even though they were not “driving” at the time. The legal rule of thumb is that if you were sitting in the car performing a driving-related activity, you can be convicted of DUI.
A skilled attorney can use both the facts and the law to your advantage. For a free consultation with attorneys affiliated with the National College for DUI Defense, contact The Orr Law Firm. An attorney is waiting to take your call.