Driving While Intoxicated charges in most jurisdictions have been abolished. Instead of filing DWI charges, most jurisdictions have established DUI per se charges.
Many times, defense attorneys or the defendant him or herself would attempt to defend the individual charged with DWI by arguing that the defendant was not actually intoxicated, since intoxication is difficult to prove objectively and conclusively.
A person would often find themselves charged with DWI before the development of blood kits which were able to conclusively establish the BAC level, or Blood Alcohol Content level, of the individual who was charged with DWI. Conclusively identifying and solidifying the DWI charges with a specific level of alcohol in a person’s blood stream allowed the courts, and legal system as a whole to abandon the easy to beat and subjective DWI charges, and instead create DUI per say charges.
Historically, the first person charged with DWI was George Smith, a London taxi driver convicted of drunk driving on September 10, 1897. After he was charged with DWI and found guilty, he was forced to pay a 20 shillings fine.