Nowhere But Texas

Two Men Riding a Horse and a Mule Arrested for DWI
First of all, in the City of Austin, it is legal to ride a horse on a public street. The riding became a problem when Jose Rios and Samuel Olivo began yelling at patrons in bars on 6th street to come out and take pictures of them on their horse and mule.

According to the arrest affidavit, an officer saw Rios riding the mule near East Sixth Street and San Jacinto Boulevard. Officers smelled alcohol, then summoned members of the department’s DWI team, which has special training in arresting drunken drivers.

The affidavit said that Rios had bloodshot eyes and was swaying, staggering and stumbling, and that he told officers he’d had “two vodka and cranberry drinks.”

The document also laid out state laws for drunken driving, saying that a mule fit the legal standard for a “motor vehicle” — “a device in, on or by which a person or property is, or may be, transported or drawn on a highway.”

Their crime, according to the officers: driving while intoxicated.

Jose Rios, 33, and Samuel Olivo Jr., 48, were both hauled to the Travis County Jail, but a judge refused to sign off on charges against Olivo and he was freed after a few hours.

Rios’ wasn’t so lucky.

“It was obviously a danger to the public when you have two animals on a roadway,” said Austin police Cmdr. Jason Dusterhoft. “Although it is not against any city law to ride animals on streets, drivers were having to steer around the group.”

On Monday, prosecutors reviewed similar laws in other states, including Pennsylvania and Ohio, where such cases have been heard but ultimately have not stood up in court.

“We were surprised there is more case law on drunken cowboys in Ohio and Pennsylvania than we found in Texas,” County Attorney David Escamilla said.

Prosecutors have since dropped the charges against Rios.

It was unclear Tuesday who owned the animals or why the men brought them downtown.

Enjoy Toby Keith with Willie Nelson – Beer for My Horses: