Only In Texas: Men Arrested For DWI On A Horse

Jonathan Turley passes along this story that could only happen in the Lone Star State:

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.


Turley reports that the charges have subsequently been reduced to public intoxication. Possibly because someone realized that a horse is not a “motor vehicle.”

Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. John Burgess says:

    Yeah, but the charges were dropped. Seems TX law doesn’t actually criminalize riding horses or donkeys while drunk, only ‘devices’.

  2. Tim McGuire says:

    Actually, this should be titled: “Only In Austin” (Elsewhere in Texas, we have usually have a little more common sense.)