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by Tim Beissmann

The Montana Department of Transport (MDT) has sparked controversy with its latest safety campaign that suggests riding a horse home after drinking as an alternative to driving a car.

Although the advertisement is more tongue-in-cheek than anything else, it turns out that riding a horse while under the influence in the state of Montana is legal, and an acceptable mode of transportation for those who have had a few too many.

The video is a part of the MDT’s ‘plan2live’ campaign that emphasises the importance of designating drivers before going out, arranging for a pick up, calling a taxi or spending the night somewhere.

Incorporated in the campaign is a free text message service reminding you to plan your night before you head out, and a blood alcohol calculator smart phone application to help you determine when it is safe and unsafe for you to drive.

The tagline of the horse video is:

“No matter what you’re planning, if you plan to drink, plan to have a friend get you home.”

On the plan2live website, the final suggestion on a list of nine safety tips is ‘Train Your Horse Well’.

“Okay, it’s a bit of a stretch, but a real cowboy would ride his horse to the bar or train old Trigger to pick him up before he’d even think about driving under the influence.”

Montana is not the only state to allow riding while under the influence. Two men in Texas recently had drink-driving charges dropped after they were pulled over by police for riding a horse and a mule on a busy street.

For the record, riding a horse while under the influence is illegal in Australia, as is riding a pushbike.




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