Man Busted for Drunken Horseback Ride With Pug, Pistol

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on September 12, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A drunken horseback ride is never a good idea. One Colorado man learned that the hard way when he was arrested for drunken horseback riding, animal cruelty, and other charges after he was seen blocking traffic and beating his (alive) horse.

But are the charges real or is it all a pile of legal horseplop?

DUI: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles -- and Horses?

Contrary to popular belief, you can be charged with DUI-related offenses without a car. For example, Erin Brockovich was recently arrested for boating under the influence.

In some states, you can get a DUI for riding animals while drunk. But in the Mile High State, it's a separate offense.

In Colorado, riding an animal under the influence is a civil "class B" traffic infraction which is punishable by a maximum $100 fine and no possibility of jail. The law also encompasses drunk walking and wheelchair riding on the road. Oh, Colorado, always keeping it classy.

So there you have it. 45-year-old Patrick Schumacher was charged with drunken horseback riding, a minor traffic infraction, reports Reuters.

After Schumacher failed a field sobriety test, University of Colorado police officers searched his saddlebag and discovered a little pistol and several beer cans (shocking). In his backpack they found...a wittle itsy bitsy pug named Bufford! (Yee-hAW!)

Animal Cruelty

Beating a dead horse may be one thing, but beating Mr. Ed while he's still kicking is against the law.

Schumacher claimed he was trying to swat a fly, but he was still arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty, reports Reuters.

In Colorado, committing an act of animal cruelty is a Class 1 misdemeanor that can result in hefty fines, mandatory participation in an anger management program, and prison (for a subsequent offense).

The drunken cowboy was also arrested on misdemeanor charges of prohibited use of weapons and reckless endangerment. His animals were impounded but prosecutors won't formally charge him until the end of October, according to Time. Maybe the score will be settled spaghetti western style?

After being released from custody, Schumacher rode off on his horse -- surprisingly, not into the sunset, but to his brother's wedding in Bryce, Utah, which is 600 miles away. Now that's some horsepower -- sorry, we couldn't resist.

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