The History Of Drunk Driving

It was inevitable. Once the first motorized carriages rolled out onto the streets, people were going to use them to not only get across town, but to go pick up a bottle or drive over to the pub and have a few pints. Almost as soon as people started drinking, everyone in their path was facing the hazard of a potentially drunk driver.

The first Drunk driving arrest occurred in London in 1897.

Twenty-five year old London taxi driver George Smith is our first DUI of record, although it wasn’t called a DUI, and their were no breathalyzer tests at the time. The guy was just snickered, and drove his cab into a building. He was arrested and fined 25 shillings. These days, any kind of conviction for DUI or DWI regardless if its drugs or alcohol will cost a lot more than 25 shillings.

Not only will the damage cause by a drunk driving accident require a visit with your Fort Collins Auto Repair shop, as the offender, you will also be spending some quality time in your local jail, your courthouse, and in alcohol classes. Most first time drunk driving offenses cost about $5,000 when all the fines, classes, and other expenses are calculated. You will most likely lose your drivers license for a year, and will be required to have your Fort Collins auto repair shop fit your car with an ignition interlock device, also known as an alcohol monitor.

By 1910, the state of New York enacted the countries first drunk driving laws. By 1936 our country had its first Alcohol Monitor. According to the History Channel:

Dr. Rolla Harger, 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.

However, it was not until much later that drunk driving became such a serious concern, with much stiffer legal repercussions, and mandatory punitive laws if a driver was convicted of DUI or DWI.

In 1980, Candy Lightner founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD. Her 13-year-old daughter was struck and killed by a drunk driver while walking home from a school event. The driver who killed Lightner’s daughter was actually out on bail from a previous drunk driving incident: a hit and run he had been arrested for just 2 days prior to killing Cari Lightner. He also had 3 previous drunk driving convictions.

Lightner under the banner of her group MADD and her co-members, were instrumental in changing not only the public perception of drunk driving, but the legal penalties and repercussions. One of their key pieces of successful legislation was raising the minimum legal drinking age to 21 across the country. It took several years, but now every state requires anyone who purchases or consumes alcohol to be 21 years of age.

As drunk driving continued to rack up fatalities — and in fact proved to be the leading cause of car accidents and car accident death — laws got stricter, police officers became more vigilant, and whole communities across the country started taking this problem more and more seriously.

The most recent legislation requires some drunk drivers to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles. The driver has to breathe into a sensor, and if he or she has a blood alcohol level that surpasses the legal limit, the car will not start.

If you are in an accident with a drunk driver, your Fort Collins auto repair shop will take care of any damage to your vehicle. If you are in fact someone who has been convicted of drunk driving, we can also fit your car with a court mandated Guardian Interlock alcohol monitor.

However, we really just want to encourage people to not drive while intoxicated. Every community has safety features and preventive measures in place to prevent anyone from ever having to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Their are designated driver programs, taxi’s, buses, and even party buses. Call a friend , call a cab, call anyone, but don’t drive drunk. Even sitting in your car while its running will result in a DUI if you’re high.

Plan ahead for transportation if you’re going out drinking. Assign a driver, or plan on using a car service or cab. The costs of drunk driving are just far too high both to the offender and any other people impacted by a drunk driver to make it worth it. That $30 cab fare is far better than a $5,000 DUI, a ruined car, and possibly ruined lives.