Some History of Drunk Driving Laws


Drunk Driving Laws have changed quite a lot over the years.

Let’s take a look at the history of Drunk Driving Laws.

In 1938, thanks to research by the American Medical Association and the National Safety Council, 0.15 percent became the first commonly-used legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

In 1953, Robert Borkenstein, a former police captain and university professor, invented the Breathalyzer. It used chemical oxidation and photometry to determine BAC. All a person does is blow into the machine and it measures the alcohol vapors in their breath. This was easier to use and more accurate than the Drunkometer. This made it the perfect test for police officers to use when determining whether someone had too much to drink.

In 1980, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, or MADD, was founded by Candy Lightner after her 13-year-old daughter was killed on her way home from a school carnival by a drunk driver. The driver had three previous DUI convictions and was out on bail from a hit-and-run arrest two days earlier. The group pushed for tougher legislation for those convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. MADD also successfully pushed to have the legal drinking age raised. 

As of 1984, The National Minimum Drinking Age Act requires states to have legislation raising the drinking age to 21.

In 1998, as part of TEA-21, a new Federal incentive grant was created to encourage states to adopt a .08 BAC illegal per se level.

As of 2000, Congress adopted .08 BAC as the national illegal limit for impaired driving.

In 2012, Alabama became the last state to pass an ignition interlock law for those arrested/convicted of impaired driving.

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Our course includes four modules:

Seat Belt Use
Drinking and Driving

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