For over a century, criminal sanctions for drunk driving have characterized American policy. In 1910, the State of New York adopted what is widely considered the nation’s first law prohibiting impaired driving and imposing punishments for such an offense. With the surge in automobile ownership during the 1920s, other states followed suit. And following the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, the increased availability of liquor created an even stronger sense of urgency among public health officials to limit drunk driving. The problem was that early DUI laws were difficult to enforce because they required proof of a driver’s intoxicated state and failed to define the threshold level of inebriation. Lawmakers and public health officials quickly realized the need for a scientific method of analyzing alcohol intoxication. Enter the State of Indiana.
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