When is a Horse a Vehicle?
posted by Dave Hoffman
In Kentucky. Lowering the Bar explains:
WKYT reported on Monday that a 55-year-old Jessamine County man had been cited for riding while intoxicated. The man said he was trail-riding with some friends and had stopped to have something to eat “when the deputy arrived and told me to get off my horse.” He explained that he is severely diabetic and hadn’t eaten, and that is why he staggered after dismounting, not because he was intoxicated . . .
The report says the man was charged with a violation of Section 189.520, “Operating a vehicle not a motor vehicle while under influence of intoxicants or substance which may impair driving ability prohibited.” . . . The statutory language is better than the title: “No person under the influence of intoxicating beverages or any substance which may impair one’s driving ability shall operate a vehicle that is not a motor vehicle anywhere in this state.”
[A]ren’t there often statutes that define certain legal terms? Yes, and there’s one here. And sadly for Rooster Cogburn, it defines “vehicle” as including “All agencies for the transportation of persons or property over or upon the public highways of the Commonwealth.…” So while I still like my “animal is not a vehicle” argument, Kentucky has precluded it.”
Seems like a good example to use in a class on statutory interpretation. Isn’t the obvious question what an “agency” is for the purposes of Kentucky law?