Worlds 1st Drunk Driver Caught

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Worlds 1st Drunk Driver Caught

Mayfair, London The 10th of September 1897 AD

There are some firsts of which this country is rightly proud: the postage stamp ; the first steam-powered railway ; the first open golf tournament and so on. And there are some which are rather more shameful. Into the latter category falls George Smith’s story, for such was the name of the first person charged with being drunk in charge of a motorised vehicle, in his case an electric cab.
The 25-year-old Smith managed to crash his cab into a building in Bond Street at 12.45am on September 10 1897. Found obviously drunk with his vehicle having smashed into a wall he had not a leg to stand on, even if he had been sober enough so to do. Thus that same day the Marlborough Street magistrates heard him plead guilty and duly fined him the not inconsiderable sum of 25 shillings.

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