DUI laws are meant to save lives and ensure the safety of our roadways and are enforced across every state in the nation. They apply to any vehicle on our roads, whether it is a motor vehicle, someone on a bicycle or a riding lawnmower. In Amish country, it also applies to those who are operating a horse and buggy as well.
WFMZ 69 in Ohio reports that two Amish men are being sought by sheriff’s deputies in Ohio for driving a buggy while under the influence of alcohol and fled the scene, leaving their horse and buggy behind.
A Trumbull County Sheriff’s deputy was on patrol near the town of North Bloomfield when he spotted the buggy. The deputy observed two young men drinking cans of alcoholic tea and carrying a 12-pack of beer on the roof of the buggy. When the sheriff’s deputy attempted to pull the men over and inquire about drinking and driving, they jumped out of the buggy and dodged into a heavily wooded area.
During the incident, the horse spooked and took off running. The deputy followed, believing that the horse would head home and lead him to the two men. Instead, the horse stopped a short distance later near an oil and gas access road.
Also, inside the buggy, the deputy found a stereo system with large speakers.
Chief Deputy for Trumbull County, Joe Dragovich told reporters that the buggy was towed from the scene and the horse was turned over to a local farmer until the owner comes forward to claim it.
Within the Amish Community, young people are allowed to go through a rite of passage known as Rumspringa which lets them experience the influences of the outside world. Even though such incidences involving DUI’s and Amish buggies are not likely, Chief Deputy Dragovich said that though the operation of a horse-drawn vehicle does not require a license, it is a vehicle that accesses the road and DUI laws are still applicable.
Once the two men are identified, they will be charged with failure to comply with the commands of law enforcement. Dragovich believes that the men may be afraid of the consequences of their actions in this case. “I encourage them to come forward and get their buggy and horse,” he said.