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Judge: Woman unfit to care for horse after DUI while riding

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BARTOW, Fla. — A Florida judge says a sheriff’s office must retain custody of a horse whose owner was charged with drunken driving while riding the animal.

In a report by The Ledger , Polk County Judge Sharon Franklin said 53-year-old Donna Byrne was unfit to care for the horse. Franklin also said Byrne must complete treatment for alcohol addiction.

Byrne was arrested Nov. 2 after riding her horse down a highway. Police said her blood-alcohol level twice Florida’s legal limit.

Byrne’s attorney, Craig Whisenhunt, says he will revisit the custody issue at a Jan. 11 hearing regarding additional pending charges of disorderly intoxication, animal endangerment and culpable negligence.

Whisenhunt questions whether the charges applied to Byrne, saying she had not been disorderly and was a pedestrian under the law.