DUI on a Horse: Understanding Arizona's Laws on Riding Under the Influence

Can You Get a DUI While Riding a Horse?

Imagine you're galloping through the vast, picturesque Arizona countryside on your trusty steed, and you reach for your flask. The alcohol coursing through your veins will inevitably make your riding experience more thrilling, but it begs the question - can you get a DUI while riding a horse in Arizona?

Arizona’s Legal Vocabulary

Arizona state laws are stringent when it comes to DUI laws, and the legal vocabulary plays a crucial role in determining the verdict. According to Arizona's definition, a "motor vehicle" is any vehicle that operates using an engine. Consequently, driving under the influence (DUI) laws that prohibit driving a car, truck, or motorcycle do not apply to horseback riders.

No DUI Charges for Horse Riders

Suppose an individual is riding their horse under the influence and their blood alcohol content (BAC) crosses the legal limit of 0.08%. In that case, they will not face DUI charges under Arizona's motor vehicle laws.

However, it's essential to note that the same legal protection does not apply to other forms of transportation, such as bikes or even wheelbarrows. That's right - even a person pushing their wheelbarrow down the street while intoxicated could be charged with a DUI.

Other Challenges for Horseback Riders Under the Influence

Although horseback riders may not face DUI charges, there are still several challenges they may encounter while riding under the influence. For instance, it takes a significant amount of skill and coordination to control a horse, and alcohol can impair these abilities. An intoxicated rider may lose their balance, misjudge speed, or be unable to control their horse, leading to accidents.

Furthermore, intoxicated riders may also find themselves facing charges of animal cruelty. Any Arizona resident who owns or cares for an animal is responsible for ensuring their welfare. A horse could be considered neglected or abused if the owner puts it in danger by riding it under the influence.


In conclusion, Arizona's DUI laws are explicit when it comes to defining motor vehicles, where horseback riding falls under the category of non-motor vehicle transportation. However, it's crucial to remember that riding a horse while intoxicated could still lead to legal problems, including charges of animal cruelty, and more importantly, it's incredibly dangerous. Always prioritize your safety and the safety of the animal by abstaining from alcohol before horseback riding.

Arizona DUI Laws for Horseback Riders