Today in History: First Arrest for Drunk Driving

On this day in 1897, 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 pled guilty and was fined 25 shillings.

Ford Model T Crash

The first laws in the United States regarding operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol went into effect in New York York 1910.

The breathalyzer was invented in 1953, providing a scientific way to judge just how impaired a driver was. Before, officers relied on variations of the field sobriety test (which are still used today).

Widespread public awareness and anti drunk driving campaigns did not gain speed until the 1970s. Groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have continued to illustrate the dangers of drunk driving.

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