Horseback riding while intoxicated: Legal in Montana (but probably not as safe as taking a taxi)

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HELENA, Mont. — A Montana Department of Transportation public safety video that features a horse picking up a rider at a bar is intended as a metaphor to encourage drinkers to get a ride home.

But it is being taken literally by some in a state well known for its horse culture.

Helena Police Chief Troy McGee says he’s received many calls from residents wanting to know if riding a horse while under the influence is legal. McGee tells the Independent Record newspaper that it is.

Montana law carefully defines a vehicle, and excludes those running under animal power.


The popular 30-second video titled ‘Sober Friend’ shows a savvy horse carefully obeying traffic laws on a nighttime journey through town before stopping in front of a bar to pick up a rider.

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-- Associated Press

Video: The ‘Sober Friend’ commercial. Credit: Montana Department of Transportation