Florida woman arrested for DUI -- on a horse


LAKELAND, Fla. – A central Florida woman was arrested on suspicion of riding a horse in the middle of a road while drunk.

Donna Byrne, 53, was arrested on charges of DUI and animal neglect after she was found riding the horse on Combee Road near North Crystal Lake Road in Lakeland.

According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, deputies were called to the area after a passerby reported that Byrne appeared confused and possibly in danger.

Deputies said Byrne reeked of alcohol, had red, watery eyes and was staggering. Deputies said she provided breath samples that showed she had a blood alcohol level of 0.157 and 0.161, about twice the legal limit of 0.08 in Florida.

"Ms. Byrne was obviously not in any condition to be on the road," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. "She not only put herself and the horse in danger, but also anyone who was driving on the road, which is typically very busy."

Authorities said Byrne was charged with animal neglect because she did not provide proper protection for the horse, which she put in jeopardy of being injured or killed. 

The Sheriff's Office said Byrne's criminal history includes five felony and 10 misdemeanor charges, including cruelty to animals, drug possession and a probation violation.

The horse was taken to the Polk County Sheriff's Animal Control livestock facility. 

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