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

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This undated booking photo made available by the Polk County Sheriff's Office shows Donna Byrne, of Lakeland, Fla. (Polk County Sheriff's Office via AP) This undated booking photo made available by the Polk County Sheriff's Office shows Donna Byrne, of Lakeland, Fla. (Polk County Sheriff's Office via AP)

BARTOW, Fla. (AP) — 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.

[Related: Woman charged with DUI while riding horse]

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.

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Information for this article was provided by The Ledger and the Associated Press.

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