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A Horseback Odyssey Gone Wrong: DUI on the Open Trail

The start of a new year often brings forth resolutions, ranging from the ambitious to the unconventional. While many resolve to quit smoking, run marathons, or conquer their fantasy football leagues, some set their sights on more unique challenges. However, one man’s quest to cover 600 miles on horseback took an unexpected turn, highlighting the legal complexities of drunk riding in Colorado and the surprising approach in Montana.

In September, Patrick Neal Schumacher embarked on a remarkable journey from Larkspur, Colorado, to Bryce, Utah, a distance of 600 miles. His motivation? Attending his brother’s wedding. To appreciate the magnitude of this feat, it’s worth noting that an exclusive society exists for equestrians who have completed single journeys of 1,000 miles or more. Schumacher’s adventure, however, encountered an unforeseen obstacle, leading to legal consequences.

Schumacher’s ambitious journey came to an abrupt halt in Boulder, Colorado. Local law enforcement officers discovered him visibly intoxicated, slumped over, and dangerously wandering into traffic on Baseline Road. Failing a roadside sobriety test, Schumacher’s horse, accompanied by a small dog found in his backpack, was immediately impounded.

Initially arrested for drunken driving, Schumacher now faces an alcohol-related charge for allegedly being intoxicated while in possession of a firearm. Despite these legal ramifications, he eventually reached his destination in Utah.

In Colorado, they are riding a horse while under the influence of alcohol is grounds for a DUI or, at the very least, a $25 traffic violation. However, the situation takes a surprising turn when you cross the border into Montana. Our northern neighbors have issued a public service announcement that advises individuals to rely on their “sober friend” (a horse) after consuming a few pints as an alternative to risking a DUI.

Patrick Neal Schumacher’s adventurous journey on horseback serves as a reminder of the legal complexities surrounding drunk riding, even in the vast landscapes of Colorado. While Schumacher’s decision to mount his horse while intoxicated led to legal consequences, the contrasting approach in Montana highlights the diverse perspectives on this unconventional form of transportation under the influence. As we embrace the new year and its resolutions, it’s essential to consider our personal goals and the legal implications of our actions, whether on the open trail or within city limits.

At the end of the day, calling a cab or designating a sober (human) driver every time you celebrate with alcohol is probably the best resolution of all. Giddy-up.

Do you have further questions or concerns? Call us or contact the attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, and we will be happy to help.

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