Man charged with DUI for drunk driving his horse on a freeway

Any fool can write a law. I’d be interested to see that vehicle code tested in federal court. The right of travel and freedom of movement are well established human rights and are protected by our constitution.

You drive a horse? God damn it, @Brainspore, taking away our funsies! :wink:


Well technically riding a horse and driving one are generally two different things, just pointing out that you CAN drive one…


You and your facts! :wink:


I don’t know if it has been tested in federal court, but, if not, please feel free to give it a whirl. Let us know how it comes out, okay?

On the contrary, it is quite well-established in US case law that the fundamental rights of movement and travel do NOT include unlimited choice of conveyance: operating a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right.

21050 says that an animal rider “has all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division.”

The drivers of motor vehicles are subject to a wide range of restrictions and limitations, and none of those infringe on rights of travel or movement; so, acto 21050, the same is true of animal riders.

But don’t let me stop you from testing it in court. (-:


Thankfully I live in one of the 12 states where your choice of conveyance does not determine if you have the right to travel on a road built with public funds.

No sir. That is not correct at all. Travel is a fundamental issue and the freedom to travel is not limited to conveyance. My choice to travel on a public road may be subject to safety inspections, licensure, and insurance requirements as benefits the public but my right to travel with whatever conveyance I can muster is not something the state has the power to take from me.

I’ve never heard of a modern supreme court upholding a law which creates a special class of citizen for the purpose of discrimination.

In some states you can get a DUI while operating a wheel chair drunk. If you walk to your car with your keys and have not yet driven you can get a DUI. If you decide not to drive and walk home you can can get charge with “drunk and disorderly”. The bottom line is you if you are intoxicated in anyway you risk arrest. The fact that people go to bars, drink alcohol, and do not get arrested is because of the discretion of police offices. I don’t drink so I don’t have any of these problems.

If you think that these laws, the people that enact them, and the people that enforce them have gone too far you are completely right. This society needs to grow up and deal with problems using institutions other than the police.

When I was teen, my friends and I were all real concerned with getting a 502 here in California. That was supposed to be the part of the law that defined DUI. Looking at section 23152, I don’t see anything that looks like 502. So I searched, and closest I found was this:

Seems it was the old law in California, but it changed…


Also, precedent…


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I prefer the more all encompassing pilot. Alas, I lack the handlebar mustache and tophat required by comedy law.

“Did you Uber or did you pilot your own motorcarriage here?”

I also, non-jokingly, am irked that engineers invented an unnecessary cumbersome inelegant neologism to replace a beautiful word we already had. Self-driving my arse, it’s an autopilot.

Don’t know, but the Amish and Mennonite horse buggies you see in the East usually have those orange triangles on the back, as do slow tractors. If nothing else, a horse without some sort of warning signal is a serious hazard on a road where everything from cars to eighteen wheelers are clipping along at 70 mph. I don’t know if California can revoke your God given or James Madison given right to conveyance by any means, but physics sure a shit can.

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My original reply is below - but I see you have already addressed this distinction

You drive a horse from the ground or from a carriage or cart. Not by sitting on its back. That’s the link and the origin of the meaning you cite.

There are rare occasions where (when driving a large team of horses) there may be one or more people riding one or more of the horses in the team - but that person is not the driver - the main person holding the reins on the conveyance is.

Yes, it is.

Seriously, have you never seen public roads through public lands posted “No Motorized Vehicles”?

Or “No Trucks over 6000lb GVW”? Or “Trucks Only”?

Ever try driving a tracked vehicle on the streets? (-:

Restrictions on type of conveyance are quite common.

Additionally, “driving is a privilege, not a right” is a principle that’s been litigated over and over and over again.

You might want to start with Berberian v. Petit, RI Supreme Court 1977,

It is equally clear that the right to operate a motor vehicle is not a fundamental right. The importance of that right to the individual in modern society does not determine whether it is to be regarded as fundamental for the purpose of review under the equal protection clause. San Antonio Independent School Dist. v. Rodriguez, supra, 411 U.S. at 30, 93 S.Ct. at 1295, 36 L.Ed.2d at 41. For equal protection purposes, only rights explicitly or implicitly guaranteed by the Federal Constitution are fundamental. Id. at 33-34, 93 S.Ct. at 1297, 36 L.Ed.2d at 43. The right to operate a motor vehicle is wholly a creation of state law; it certainly is not explicitly guaranteed by the Constitution, and nothing in that document or in our state constitution has even the slightest appearance of an implicit guarantee of that right. The plaintiff’s argument that the right to operate a motor vehicle is fundamental because of its relation to the fundamental right of interstate travel Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 U.S. 618, 629-31, 89 S.Ct. 1322, 1329, 22 L.Ed.2d 600, 612-13 (1969), is utterly frivolous.[8] The plaintiff is not being prevented from traveling interstate by public transportation, by common carrier, or in a motor vehicle driven by someone with a license to drive it. What is at issue here is not his right to travel interstate, but his right to operate a motor vehicle on the public highways, and we have no hesitation in holding that this is not a fundamental right.[9]

[emphasis added]

If you like, you could spend a whole afternoon chasing citations of that case through Findlaw or your favorite legal reference – it’s one of several foundational precedents in the “Driving – Right or Privilege?” question, frequently cited for exactly the paragraph quoted above.

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It doesn’t. But it does mention vehicles–not motor vehicles, but just “vehicle.” To wit:

It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.

So what’s a vehicle? The California Vehicle Code (self-referentially enough) defines a vehicle as:

a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon a highway, excepting a device moved exclusively by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.

So unless this was a horse-drawn railroad car, or unless the horse was riding him, the horse is the device and the device is a vehicle and the vehicle is why it’ll stick. But in the interests of full disclosure, I am not certified to practice equine law in the state of California.


You cite road control signs designed to protect public property from damage by vehicles which the road cannot support due to how it is constructed as if it was evidence that humans do not have the free right of travel on roads they have paid for themselves.

You also seem to think that bureaucrats posting signs creates some sort of binding contract or law like powers to those signs which I honestly have to dismiss as being a fundamentally authoritarian delusion. The ability to create an ordinance or write a law does in no way make it legitimate when that law or ordinance is counter to the fundamental human rights which we have formed a government in order to secure for ourselves.

Berberian v. Lussier (1958) 139 A2d 869, 872, See also: Schecter v. Killingsworth, 380 P.2d 136, 140; 93 Ariz. 273 (1963). “The right to operate a motor vehicle [an automobile] upon the public streets and highways is not a mere privilege. It is a right of liberty, the enjoyment of which is protected by the guarantees of the federal and state constitutions.”

Thompson v.Smith, 154 SE 579, 11 American Jurisprudence, Constitutional Law, section 329, page 1135 “The right of the Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, in the ordinary course of life and business, is a common right which he has under the right to enjoy life and liberty, to acquire and possess property, and to pursue happiness and safety

Caneisha Mills v. D.C. 2009 “The use of the automobile as a necessary adjunct to the earning of a livelihood in modern life requires us in the interest of realism to conclude that the RIGHT to use an automobile on the public highways partakes of the nature of a liberty within the meaning of the Constitutional guarantees. . .”

Simeone v. Lindsay, 65 Atl. 778, 779; Hannigan v. Wright, 63 Atl. 234, 236. “The RIGHT of the citizen to DRIVE on the public street with freedom from police interference, unless he is engaged in suspicious conduct associated in some manner with criminality is a FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT which must be protected by the courts.”

Citing judicial opinion can be fun especially when you have so many to choose from. When we do, we can choose to cite opinions which diminish our citizens or we can choose to cites the ones than empower our citizens. You have chosen the former.

But let’s put judicial opinion aside for a moment and address fundamental human rights. To argue, as you do, that travel on a road, for which a citizen has been taxed in order to build, is not open to every citizen but rather only to those who have the income, means, and desire to operate a motor vehicle seems an indefensible position. It is a well understood principle of common law and international law that the right to travel is fundamental and does not derive from governance but rather is a right owing to the condition of being human. We as a people have decided that such fundamental rights are outside the powers of the government which we have formed. We have decided that such a government may not create laws which abridge certain fundamental rights. We were so passionate about this point that we insisted that a list of specific restrictions to the power over government be created which we now call the Bill of Rights and the amendments to the constitution before we would allow ourselves to form as a nation under a single government.

I’ve been through the freeway on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain

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