Lakeland woman charged with DUI while riding horse

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In Lakeland, Florida a woman was arrested on Friday for riding a horse down a busy highway while drunk. A concerned citizen called 911 to report seeing the 53-year-old woman riding her horse and appearing to be confused and possibly in danger.

According to CbsNews, Polk County Sheriff deputies performed a sobriety test on Donna Byrne and stated her breath samples that registered blood-alcohol level of .161 – were twice Florida’s legal limit of .08. Authorities charged Byrne with DUI and animal neglect for endangering the life of her horse and failing to provide proper protection for the animal.

In a statement to the Orlando Sentinel, Sheriff Grady Judd stated:

“Ms. Byrne was obviously not in any condition to be on the road. She not only put herself and the horse in danger, but also anyone who was driving on the road, which is typically very busy.”

Byrne has several previous animal cruelty and drug possession arrests. The horse has been moved to the Polk County Sheriff’s Animal Control livestock facility. The horse named Boduke was tied to the police cruiser and peacefully chomped on  grass while the arrest was underway. He will likely be returned to Byrne unless authorities decide to fight her for custody of the horse.

(Photos of Byrnes DUI while riding horse screenshot Diane Dodge AP and sheriff’s office)

Byrnes was booked into the Polk County Jail.

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5 replies
  1. Adrienne says:

    This horse must not be returned to this woman at any time. She has previous legal charges against her and having this horse is one more thing that can cause tragedy for many people if she continued to ride her horse like this. Police need to fight to keep this horse from her.

  2. vicki hood says:

    I agree with Adrienne. She put the horse and others in danger. Donna Byrne has a problem. i will say her horse looks healthy but if she is in jail who will take care of the horse?

  3. Nancy Raymond says:

    This drunken idiot should NEVER regain custody of that horse – she has other animal cruelty arrests and this alone should be a big consideration for Boduke’s safety – she is a danger to animals and just looking at her is a pretty good indication that her alcoholism is running rampant.

  4. Red says:

    PLEASE do not give this beautiful animal back to that drunk!!! She has “several animal cruelty charges” already and you are going to give this poor animal back to her??? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FREAKING MINDS!?!?! So…. you give the horse back and she abuses or kills him….. Its on YOU!


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