Two men riding horse, mule arrested for DWI

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by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheltonG_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on January 11, 2011 at 11:22 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 12 at 12:59 PM

Two men were arrested for driving while intoxicated on 6th Street Friday night.  One was riding a horse, while the other was riding a mule.

Austin police say the men were both intoxicated.  They were apparently trying to lure people out of bars and into the street to take pictures with them and their farm animals.

Bartender Brian Matthews thought he had seen everything; that is until he walked outside to have a cigarette Friday night.

"There were these two guys on horses, or mules, or something, outside of Shakespeare's," he said. "(It) looked like they were being pulled over for a DUI."

Jose Rios, 33, and sidekick, Samuel Olivo, Jr., 48, parked their horse trailer near I-35 and 12th Street.  They rode their mule and horse down to 6th Street, inviting people to take pictures with them and their four-legged beasts.

Police video shows the two being stopped by officers.  In the video, Rios appeared to be so intoxicated that he could not even finish his sobriety test.

Austin police arrested the pair for DWI.

"The law has recently changed and the motor vehicle definition is a little ambiguous, but they felt that it would fit that criteria," said Commander Jason Dusterhoft, of the Austin Police Department.

The DWI charges may be lowered to public intoxication.

"In the City of Austin it is legal to ride a horse on a public street," Commander Dusterhoft said.  "What we were obviously concerned about is them being intoxicated, inviting people out into the street causing a danger, causing a danger to themselves, the public, the horses."

"Well, it was unusual. You certainly don't get these types of arrests. This is the first time I've ever encountered this," said Tony Plohetski, a writer for the Austin American-Statesman who first reported the story.  "I think one of the big questions that I think a lot of people are going to have is, 'Was this really against the law? Is it against the law to be intoxicated going down a city street on a farm animal?'  And there are, from the best I can tell, different opinions about that."

One of the cowboys was so intoxicated that police say he had to be hospitalized.  The animals were taken to animal control and it is not clear if they are back with their owner.

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