FIRST DUI ARREST ON THIS DAY IN 1897

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A 25-year-old London taxi driver named George Smith becomes the first
person ever arrested for drunk driving after slamming his cab into a
building. Smith later pleaded guilty and was fined 25 shillings.

In the United States, the first laws against operating a motor vehicle
while under the influence of alcohol went into effect in
New York in
1910. In 1936, Dr. Rolla Harger, a professor of biochemistry and
toxicology, patented the Drunkometer (below), a balloon-like device
into which people would breathe to determine whether they were
inebriated. In 1953, Robert Borkenstein, a former
Indiana state
police captain and university professor who had collaborated with
Harger on the Drunkometer, invented the Breathalyzer. Easier-to-
use and more accurate than the Drunkometer, the Breathalyzer
was the first practical device and scientific test available to police o
fficers to establish whether someone had too much to drink.

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Despite the stiff penalties and public awareness campaigns, drunk driving
remains a serious problem in the United States. Each year, roughly 15,00
people die in alcohol-related crashes and almost 1.5 million people are
arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

posted by Bob Karm in ANNIVERSARY,Arrest,Driving,Driving drunk,HISTORY and have No Comments

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