Things you didn't know you could get arrested for
As evidence that the police in Cody, Wyo., don't have enough to do, I cite the recent arrest of Benjamin Daniels for riding his horse while intoxicated. To clarify, Daniels was drunk; they don't have anything on the horse. I mean, have you ever tried to get a horse to take a breathalyzer? It's easier than getting one to close his eyes and touch his nose with his front hoof, but still, it's not easy.
Sure, in St. Louis, clydesdales get pulled over all the time -- who says profiling is dead -- but in Cody, Wyo., wouldn't you expect to see rootin' tooted cowboys on the street? Heck, the town was named after Buffalo Bill Cody, one of the premier cowboys of all time. It's like going to SeaWorld to see the dolphins or Sturgis to see the bikers. The way I see it, the horse was Daniels' designated driver.
While unusual, this isn't the first time it's happened. A Pierre, S.D., man was arrested several times in recent years for being drunk on his horse, indicating the cops in Pierre are every bit as bored as the ones in Cody. According to the Aberdeen American News, the rider in Pierre insisted he wasn't a danger, because his horse knew the way home. I think he has a point.
Then there was the guy in Vermillion, Ohio, who was arrested the other day for driving drunk on his lawnmower. Perhaps the crooked lines in the lawn tipped off police. Considering he had been busted twice in the past six months for DUI, they may have been on a stake out. At any rate, Dondi Bowles was caught driving on a sidewalk about a mile from his home after a trip to the store. The news story does not specify the store he visited, but the smart money is on the bottle shop. He had a blood alcohol level of 0.144, which is nearly twice the legal limit in Ohio and "just getting warmed up" around here. I have to confess that personally I can't get motivated to mow until I'm a 1.8, and I have to be blowing at least a 2.1 to even consider getting on a horse.
The mower was towed.
And get this -- last year in North Pole, Alaska, a man was arrested on DUI charges after leading state troopers on a 200-yard chase at 5 mph on a Craftsman mower. Who's next -- Santa? "Mr. Claus, we couldn't help but notice your lead reindeer has a red nose... And what's in the big bag? You won't mind if we take a look..."
But the arrest is only part of the process. The cop has to testify in court, so as an arresting officer, it's always better if the arrest involves something more harrowing than pulling over a Snapper going 5 mph past the lilac bushes. If the bailiff giggles and the court reporter wets her pants, it's a good sign you have been overzealous in the prosecution of your duties.
And, believe it or not, there have been arrests all over the country of individuals driving bikes while intoxicated. You know, I like law and order as much as the next guy, but aren't things getting a little bit goofy when you have squad cars pulling over someone on a Schwinn 10-speed? Have you ever sat for any length of time on one of those skinny little seats? Forget jail time. That should be punishment enough. In fact, a lot of the erratic bicycling can be directly linked to bike seat wedgies.
I always find it both frightening and astonishing when a state Legislature relies on common sense, but that's just what happened in the South Dakota when they voted to put an end to such overreach by exempting bikes and horses from DUI laws. Rep. Tom Hennies, a former police chief, said, "We should not push people to stop driving when they've been drinking, and at the same time penalize them if they get on a bicycle when they're drunk."
The law went into effect in 2007. It's been anarchy ever since.