Two bills currently being considered in the Wisconsin legislature are aimed at changing current state laws about the uses of aerosol sprays. When someone inhales one of these substances, also known as "huffing," they can quickly become intoxicated. Under the law now, however, inhalants are not considered intoxicants, so if someone began to drive after huffing, he or she could not be charged with operating while intoxicated (OWI).
Recently, several OWI convictions for people using inhalants have been overturned because the court determined that inhalants were not illegal intoxicants. The new bills will target ingredients that are common in aerosol sprays.
Law enforcement officials say that it is necessary to classify inhalants as intoxicants, so that a driver with a huffing addiction will be taken off the road and put into a treatment program in the same manner as alcoholics or narcotics addicts. Sergeant Travis Quella of the Eau Claire, Wisconsin police department told local ABC affiliate WQOW that drivers under the influence of inhalants pose as great a risk as those influenced by alcohol and other drugs.
"Whenever that person is not held accountable, I think that there's a higher likelihood that that person will take to the road again and another likelihood that that person may not get the court-ordered chemical dependency help that he or she needs," Sergeant Quella said to the source.
If you know someone who is abusing inhalants, seek help before he or she does anymore self-damage or puts anyone else in danger. Contact Intervention Services today to learn how one of our experienced profession can get your loved one into an effective treatment program to make a full recovery.