More legal fun, thanks to on-the-ball defense attorneys: Pa. drunk driving law doesn’t apply to horsemen:
Keith Travis, 41, of Grove City, and Richard Noel, 49, of Sandy Lake, were charged with drunken driving, along with a man driving a pickup who allegedly rear-ended the horse Travis was riding away from a bar on a dark country road.
Noel, Travis and the pickup truck driver all failed field sobriety tests, police said, but a Mercer County judge threw out the charges against Noel and Travis after they argued that the word “vehicles” in the state’s drunken-driving law doesn’t apply to horses.
Although HUI (horseback-riding under the influence) is against the law in Pennsylvania, the justices felt the statute is confusing and vague, because provisions like requirements for headlamps can’t be applied to animals as they can to vehicles.
Best part of this case is the dissenting opinion, which — and I’m not making this up — a justice wrote in the style of the theme song to the TV show, “Mr. Ed”:
A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
but the Vehicle Code does not divorce
its application from, perforce,
a steed as my colleagues said.
‘It’s not vague,’ I’ll say until I’m hoarse,
and whether a car, a truck or horse
this law applies with equal force,
and I’d reverse instead.
Until we know whether Pennsylvania courts will be persuaded by the “High-Heeled Defense” in DUI cases, revelers might do better to choose a four-legged mode of transport for their drinking nights.
Among the remaining questions: What happened to the horse that was rear-ended? Is it in the shop for repairs? How do you rear-end a horse?