NewsPolk County


Deputies: Polk City woman arrested for DUI on a horse, charged with animal neglect

Posted at 9:27 AM, Nov 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-03 17:21:48-04

Deputies arrested a Polk City woman for DUI on a horse in Lakeland on Thursday. 

Donna Byrne, 53, was riding the horse in the roadway on Combee Road, near North Crystal Lake Road when deputies arrived on scene. 

Deputies said Byrne smelled like alcohol, had watery bloodshot eyes and was staggering. 

A field sobriety test was conducted and she was arrested for DUI. Byrne was also charged with animal neglect for failing to provide proper protection to the horse. According to the affidavit, Byrne put the horse in jeopardy of being injured or killed.

Byrne blew a .157 and .161 BAC. A breath alcohol level of .08 is the legal limit in Florida.
"Ms. Byrne was obviously not in any condition to be on the road. She not only put herself and the horse in danger, but also anyone who was driving on the road, which is typically very busy", Grady Judd, Sheriff.

Polk County Sheriff's Animal Control seized the horse and transported it to their livestock facility. 

Byrne's prior criminal history includes five felony and ten misdemeanor charges, consisting of cruelty to animals, drug possession, probation violation, and criminal traffic.