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The History of Drunk Driving and the Drunkometer.

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2020 | Firm News

The History or Drunk Driving

According to the History Channel’s “THIS DAY IN HISTORY” – September 10, 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 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, 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 officers to establish whether someone had too much to drink. A person would blow into the Breathalyzer and it would gauge the proportion of alcohol vapors in the exhaled breath, which reflected the level of alcohol in the blood.

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