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Supreme Court Throws Out DUI Charges in ‘Huffing’ Case

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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) – The Minnesota Supreme Court has thrown out the charges brought against a woman was arrested on three separate occasions in Steele County last fall and winter after she was found slumped over in the driver’s seat of a vehicle.

On one occasion, the woman was found passed out behind the wheel in the drive-thru lane of a fast food restaurant. In each case, police found evidence she had been “huffing” canisters of compressed air used for cleaning electronics and found the chemical DFE in her system. The decision by the Supreme Court says she cannot be charged with driving under the influence of a hazardous substance because DFE is not listed as a hazardous substance under the state’s DUI law.

The ruling says the language in the law limits the substances that lead to a DUI conviction to those listed in the statute. The Justices acknowledge the ruling allows a person dangerously intoxicated by DFE to escape criminal charges, but the ruling clearly states it’s an issue that needs to be addressed by the State Legislature “because we must read this state’s laws as they are, not as some argue they should be.”

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